Show must go on amid visible scars of storm damage
‘If you rebuild it, they will come’ mantra helps Ploughing bounce back from devastation of lost day
The blimps had returned, swaying gently in the sky - a sign to far and wide that the Ploughing was back in business.
Only the visible scars - the patched-up stands and the barren wooden platforms sadly devoid of their canvas - told the tale of the devastation that had hit the day before.
Invisible were the worries of traders desperately trying to make up the serious losses incurred by missing out on a day of one of the biggest events in the rural calendar.
Some 10 smaller traders had been wiped out completely - unable to return to the Ploughing this year.
Another 20 to 30 will not be able to attend today for the unscheduled additional day, because of other commitments or because they have to return home, Anna Maria McHugh, the event organiser, said.
But if you rebuild it, they will come, has become the mantra of Ploughing '18 - and after a slow start to the morning - and despite the rain, the steel walkways were thronged once more with people keen to enjoy 'the ploughin' yesterday.
Nora Ni Ghriofa and her brother Mairtin, from Lettermore, Co Galway, were doing a trawl of the various stands, mopping up complimentary pens, pencils and rulers and stashing them in a wheelie case. "It's our annual pilgrimage," explained Nora, who said they will give them out to friends who are travelling to Vietnam, Laos and Ethiopia, as well as use them for the shoe box appeal for Syria.
"I travel a lot myself," said school teacher Nora, who said that she realises how much these small items are valued.