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Dublin: 1 °C Tuesday 19 November, 2019
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Pastures anew for National Ploughing Championships

After spending the last three years in Kildare, the 81st National Ploughing Championships has moved to the (hopefully) sunny South-East.

Visitors using the shuttle tractor service at last years championship.
Visitors using the shuttle tractor service at last years championship.
Image: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

TODAY MARKS THE first day of the 81st National Ploughing Championships, which takes place in Heathpark, New Ross, Co Wexford.

Having being held in Cardenton, Athy, Co Kildare on the last three occasions, the change in location is set to be reflected in the exhibitions on show.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, spokesperson for the National Ploughing Association, Anne Marie McHugh, outlined some of these:

We’ll have a South-East enterprise village along with a mock up of a viking village. There will also be a ‘visit Wexford’ stand in addition to a New Ross business arcade.

“We’ve had an average of 180,000 visitors [per championships] over the last four to five years,” she says. “If we have figures of 40-50,000 visitors a day this year we’ll be happy.”

Famous faces

President Higgins is due to make an appearance over the three days, in addition to An Taoiseach Enda Kenny, along with Minister for Agriculture, Marine and Food Simon Coveney.

The Northern Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Michelle O’Neill, is also set to make an appearance.

A number of sports personalities can also be found in the National Dairy Council Dome over the next three days.

Today will see Wexford camogie champion Una Leacy and Kerry Footballer Darran O’Sullivan in attendance, with Kilkenny hurler Eddie Brennan joined by Galway hurler Ollie Canning tomorrow.

Rounding out proceedings will be Dublin footballer Bryan Cullen on Thursday.

Speaking of a hectic three days to come as one of Europe’s largest agricultural trade shows, McHugh is looking forward to welcoming those making the trip. “We’re ready for them,” she says.

Traffic

Traffic is reported to be heavy in the vicinity of the National Ploughing Championships this morning, with AA Roadwatch reporting the following:

Extremely long delays approaching the National Ploughing Championships in New Ross from O’Hanrahans Bridge through New Ross, very busy in Ballinaboola and motorists are reporting extremely long delays approaching on the N25 Cork/Waterford Rd from Waterford to New Ross.

View: 100% Irish beef: Farmers’ charity calendar launches >

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Paul Hyland

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