We can’t be accountable for people for not doing what they were asked to do - Ploughing organiser
Ploughing organiser Anna Marie McHugh robustly defended the handling of the ad-hoc shutdown during Storm Ali, saying: "We can't be accountable for people not doing what they were asked to do."
Ms McHugh is general secretary of the National Ploughing Association (NPA), which came in for criticism this week after cancelling the middle day of this year's event.
As Storm Ali blazed its way across the country, organisers eventually called off the event just before noon on Wednesday, leaving thousands of exhibitors and potential visitors sat in cars parked in fields around the site.
Despite the criticism, Ms McHugh is adamant she does not regret any of the decisions made, or their timing.
"I do know people were saying they were waiting in car parks and that's not good, but we did tell people not to come before 11am. Thousands did hear this message and we can't be accountable for people not doing what they were asked to do," she said. "The weather reading from 7am was very good, it had improved from the night before.
"It was from 10am that the wind started to turn and got stronger."
While she said the visit of the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to the Ploughing yesterday was a great boost, some 30 to 40 exhibitors chose not to open their doors.
That included the Department of Housing's marquee, which remained closed for the day, directly across from the National Ploughing Association headquarters.