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The Ploughing: Plan to hold spectator-free events scaled back again as organisers cancel most contests

The National Ploughing Championships were cancelled in May this year due to the pandemic.

File image of Michael D Higgins at the National Ploughing Championships in 2017.
File image of Michael D Higgins at the National Ploughing Championships in 2017.
Image: Sam Boal

THE NATIONAL PLOUGHING Association (NPA) has cancelled most ploughing competitions due to be held “behind closed gates” next month. 

The National Ploughing Championships were cancelled in May this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The 89th annual championships were due to take place in Carlow from 15-17 September, but have been postponed until next year instead.

It was later decided to hold a number of competitions behind closed doors, a decision changed by the NPA after meeting this week. 

In a statement, the association confirmed it has decided to cancel all ploughing finals with the exception of senior qualifier classes for 2021. 

These include qualifications for the World Ploughing Contest due to be hosted in Ireland in September next year.

The NPA Managing Director Anna May McHugh said that “with the recent surge in Covid-19 cases the association felt that the safest option for everyone involved was to cancel the competitions”. 

The qualifying classes have been postponed until early October this year, depending on HSE and government recommendations at the time. 

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A programme of online activities has instead been planned starting on 14 September. 

Speaking on RTÉ radio today, Anna Marie McHugh of the NPA said: “We’re going ahead with the qualifiers. It is six classes in all that we need to go ahead to actually be able to select the teams for those international competitions, so they will be the ones that we’re hoping to have in early October.”  

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