News Irish News

Wednesday 13 December 2017

Record-breaking 81,000 people flock to first day of the Ploughing

President Michael D Higgins meeting people at the National Ploughing Championships in Ratheniska Co Offaly yesterday.
Pic: Steve Humphreys
24th September 2013.
President Michael D Higgins meeting people at the National Ploughing Championships in Ratheniska Co Offaly yesterday. Pic: Steve Humphreys 24th September 2013.
President Michael D Higgins and wife Sabina meeting Ploughman Benny Greene from Ratheniska Offaly at the National Ploughing Championships in Ratheniska Co Offaly yesterday. Pic Steve Humphreys 24th September 2013.
Kathleen Hargroves from Ballydavis Portlaois blowdries Charlois 'Ballydavis Gorgeous' who won female heffer of the year recently at Tullamore Show at the National Ploughing Championships in Ratheniska Co Offaly yesterday. Pic Steve Humphreys 24th September 2013.
Outstanding in his field........President Michael D Higgins chats with Ploughman Benny Greene from Ratheniska Offaly at the National Ploughing Championships in Ratheniska Co Offaly yesterday. Pic Steve Humphreys 24th September 2013.
President Michael D Higgins and wife Sabina meeting Ploughman Benny Greene from Ratheniska Offaly at the National Ploughing Championships in Ratheniska Co Offaly yesterday. Pic Steve Humphreys 24th September 2013.
President Michael D Higgins and wife Sabina with Anna May Mc Hugh Managing Director of the NPA at the National Ploughing Championships in Ratheniska Co Offaly yesterday during the opening ceremony. Pic Steve Humphreys 24th September 2013.
President Michael D Higgins and wife Sabina meeting visitors to the National Ploughing Championships in Ratheniska Co Offaly yesterday. Pic Steve Humphreys 24th September 2013.
Pictured at the Experience Carlow tent at this year's National Ploughing Championships in Ratheniska, Co. Laois was: Dr.Micheal J Gallagher (The original eye spoon company) and Aedin O'Shea (22) from Kildare. PIC: Joe Keogh
Pictured at the Experience Carlow tent at this years National Ploughing Championships in Ratheniska, Co. Laois was: Martha Galvin (14) from and Momo Willet O'Sullivan (14) from Tramore, County Waterford. PIC: Joe Keogh
Pictured at the Experience Carlow tent at this years National Ploughing Championships in Ratheniska, Co. Laois was: Percy Chadwick from Cushina, Portarlington, Co. Laois. PIC: Joe Keogh
Pictured at the Experience Carlow tent at this years National Ploughing Championships in Ratheniska, Co. Laois was: Colette (10) and Kate Looby (9) eating cupcakes. PIC: Joe Keogh
Pictured at the Experience Carlow tent at this years National Ploughing Championships in Ratheniska, Co. Laois was: Kate Looby (9)eating cupcakes. PIC: Joe Keogh
Pictured at the Experience Carlow tent at this years National Ploughing Championships in Ratheniska, Co. Laois was: Maria Byrne and Sue Alysbury from Marie Sue Lingerie. PIC: Joe Keogh
24/09/13 - No Repro Fee...pictured at the Experience Carlow tent at this years National Ploughing Championships in Ratheniska, Co. Laois was: Martha Galvin (14) from and Momo Willet O'Sullivan (14) from Tramore, County Waterford. PIC: Joe Keogh
(L-R) Breda Curley, Mark Atkinson & Dorothy Dale, of Monaghan Town Co-Op, pictured at the Aldi (Ireland) Love Ireland, Like Aldi marquee at the 2013 National Ploughing Championship today where 30 of the retailers 127 Irish Suppliers were showcased.   PIC: MAXWELLS
Aldi's Sean Dwan helps Pat Delaney, of Templemore, Co. Tipperary, fill out his Swap & Save Competition form at the Aldi (Ireland) Love Ireland, Like Aldi marquee at the 2013 National Ploughing Championship today where 30 of the retailers 127 Irish Suppliers were showcased.   PIC: MAXWELLS
Aldi's Craig Knowles helps visitors fill out Swap & save Competition forms at the Aldi (Ireland) Love Ireland, Like Aldi marquee at the 2013 National Ploughing Championship today where 30 of the retailers 127 Irish Suppliers were showcased.   PIC: MAXWELLS
(L-R) Clare McCormack, Alan Waters & Serena Huggard, of Donnelly fresh Foods, St. Margaret's, Co. Dublin, pictured at the Aldi (Ireland) Love Ireland, Like Aldi marquee at the 2013 National Ploughing Championship today where 30 of the retailers 127 Irish Suppliers were showcased.   PIC: MAXWELLS
Pat Morgan, of Morgan's Fresh Fish was pictured talking to visitors at the Aldi (Ireland) Love Ireland, Like Aldi marquee at the 2013 National Ploughing Championship today where 30 of the retailers 127 Irish Suppliers were showcased.   PIC: MAXWELLS
Pictured at the Experience Carlow tent at this years National Ploughing Championships in Ratheniska, Co. Laois was: Dr.Micheal J Gallagher (The original eye spoon company) and Aedin O'Shea (22) from Kildare. PIC: Joe Keogh
Independent.ie reporter Caitlin McBride at the National Ploughing Championships in Ratheniska, Co Laois
World ploughing champion John Whelan, from Wexford, with his wife Margaret on his triumphant homecoming in Carlow
Aaron Dunne from Martinstown, Co Kildare, leads Charolais cattle Huckleberryfin and Holly to their stalls after arriving on site for the National Ploughing Championships in Ratheniska, Stradbally, Co Laois
Kieran Comerford, acting CEO of Carlow County Enterprise Board, pictured with Anne Brady, Jessica Zaffino, Amanda Webb, Lorna Sixsmith (We Teach Social), who are among the 16 Carlow companies showcasing their business at the National Ploughing Championships. We Teach Social will be teaching farmers how to tweet throughout the three days.
Revolutionary: Lely's demonstration will be the first live robotic milking demonstration at a trade exhibition in Ireland
Dozens of companies have been working round the clock to ensure the 2013 Ploughing Championships is ready
Refreshments: Linda Farrell and Brona McGrath setting up Linda's Food Stalls at Ratheniska
John Whelan from Wexford pictured during the Denlor Reversable Plough Class at the National Ploughing Championships last year
Charlene Crinion and Duncan McHale laying some of over 15km of trackway for TPA on the site for this year's championships at Ratheniska
Minister Simon Coveney: The Irish Independent got his views on the big issues that will be on ploughing punters' minds during the festival
Brian Dwyer FRS (on tractor) with Paddy Kelly FRS and Alan Dunne, Kavanagh Signs at work putting the row signs in place for the event
Henry Jenkinson from Bagnelstown, Co. Carlow taking a break while delivering trailers for Smyth Trailers at the Ratheniska site
NPA vice-president Maurice McEnery and John O'Shaugnessy from Limerick keep working on preparations at the National Ploughing Championships site
A small section of the machinery on the county Laois site
Marcus Casey from Dublin and Stephen Doyle from Kildare make final preparations for this week's National Ploughing Championships
Anna-Marie McHugh from Laois checks the furrow during the Farmerette Conventional Plough class, at the National Ploughing Championships at Cardenton, near Athy
Anna May McHugh (NPA managing director) with host family David, Shirley, Howard (left) and Clive Carter (right) at the launch of the 82nd National Ploughing Championships
Marcus Casey and Stephen Doyle making final preparations for the National Ploughing Championships in Co Laois yesterday
Caitlin McBride

Caitlin McBride

THEY came from far and wide.

SOME 81,000 people flocked to the first day of the National Ploughing Championships today, a record attendance for the Championships.

The town of Ratheniska, Co Laois has been transformed into an agricultural hub, with tens of thousands of people making their way there without a hitch.

While the debut of robotic milking machines are undoubtedly the highlight for farmers on site, many have come to the area simply to soak up the atmosphere.

With everything from welly throwing, sheep shearing and the opportunity to shop 'til you drop on offer, families have flocked here in their thousands.

More than 80pc of visitors at the ploughing championships have travelled from all over Ireland and Europe to Ratheniska.

As usual, this is an opportunity for politicians to canvas with Minister for Environment Phil Hogan in attendance today, while Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney is lined up for tomorrow and Taoiseach Enda Kenny planning to visit on Thursday.

On a more stylish note, Celia Holman Lee hosted three separate fashion shows today on the main stage, featuring her models wearing designs from local boutiques.

And a radiant looking Rita Talty joined her husband of one year Daithi O Se as he filmed his afternoon show Today, with Maura Derrane.

The ploughing championships have become a unique showcase for Irish businesses to promote their work, whether it be food, craft or design.

Celebrity chefs Neven Maguire, Phelim Byrne and winner of 'Celebrity Masterchef, athlete David Gillick, all are hosting cookery demonstrations while Paul Flynn held court at the Lidl tent.

Online Editors

Promoted Links

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News