Farm Ireland

Monday 19 March 2018

We have all the bases covered at Ploughing 2016

The Irish Independent tent at a previous National Ploughing Championships in Ratheniska, Co. Laois - this year's marquee will be bigger and better
The Irish Independent tent at a previous National Ploughing Championships in Ratheniska, Co. Laois - this year's marquee will be bigger and better

The Irish Independent marquee at the Ploughing Championships is going to be bigger and better than ever. There will be farm experts and celebs on stage throughout the three day event, along with Farming Independent writers and editors on hand to chat about the issues and stories that matter most.

On the Tuesday, our first panel kicks off with a debate on the role of women in farming with Farming Independent columnist and tillage grower Helen Harris, Offaly camogie player Lorraine Keena, and author Lorna Sixsmith at 11am.

This will be followed at noon with a Irish Independent sports columnists giving their thoughts on the business of the GAA.

There will be music and entertainment too with country music stars Mike Denver, Lisa McHugh, and Derek Ryan all dropping in to belt out their hits and chat with the Sunday World's Eddie Rowley.

Also appearing on the first day will be leading food writer Indy Power to discuss healthy eating and her new book, The Little Green Spoon.

Finally, there will be a discussion on personal finance including tips and advice on savings and personal retirement plans.


The debate will pick up a gear on Wednesday when Indo journalists and industry commentators will discuss the thorny issue of rural broadband at 11am. At noon, two lucky Irish farmers get the chance of a styling and fashion makeover courtesy of the

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The lunchtime slot promises to be a packed house as GAA legend Pat Spillane and a panel of GAA experts assess the quality of the 2016 All Ireland Championships in hurling and football.

Also on the Wednesday, RTE's weather presenter Nuala Carey will be interviewed and answering your questions on weather and more, while's political podcasters, the Floating Voter, will be discussing the big political issues of facing the returning TDs.

With the current low prices in almost every sector putting increasing numbers of farmers under strain, mental health will also be up for discussion with rugby star Alan Quinlan on his own personal battles, and dairy farmer Joe Leonard. Mr Leonard completed a Nuffield scholarship looking at strategies to help farmers cope better with the pressure that comes in modern day set-ups.


There's plenty happening on the last day of the three-day event, with make-up tips for from leading make-up artists starting off proceedings on Thursday at 11am.

At noon, the original farmerette herself, Lorna Sixsmith, will be discussing her latest book, An Ideal Farm Husband.

It was standing room only last year when crime writer and broadcaster Paul Williams tore into the scourge of rural criminality. The lunchtime slot is sure to be another jam-packed affair, with victims recounting their own stories and a panel of experts on what can and should be done.

At 2pm fashion editor, Bairbre Power hosts an engaging fashion session.


Ireland's ploughing representatives on the world stage, Eamonn Tracey and John Whelan won second and third place respectively for their country at the world championships in York, England at the weekend.

Carlow man Eamonn Tracey fought off tough competition with an outstanding performance in the Conventional class.

Wexford's John Whelan secured a bronze victory in the Reversible class.

Indo Farming

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