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Dublin: 10 °C Sunday 20 October, 2019

'You could grow rice in the field': Scramble to clean up Ploughing site after yesterday's flooding

New carparks have been set up for the final day of the Ploughing.

SEVERAL MOTORISTS GOT stuck in the mud as they tried to leave the National Ploughing Championships in Offaly yesterday.

Heavy downpours plagued day two of the Ploughing with part of the site being flooded.

ploughing 143_90523911 Firefighters pumping out flood waters at the National Ploughing Championships 2017 Source: Sam Boal via

One punter told RTÉ, “You could grow rice in the field, it’s like a paddy field.

They’re happy to take your money coming in but there’s no help getting out.

However, speaking on Morning Ireland on RTÉ Radio 1 assistant managing director of the National Ploughing Championships Anna Marie McHugh said: “That guy was fairly wrong about nobody being in the carpark, every single car park had people helping.”

Local farmers and volunteers worked through the night preparing for the final day of the National Ploughing Championships after yesterday’s downpour.

Remedial work was carried out on the flooded areas and walkways with tankers removing any water that accumulated.

McHugh said, “The work throughout the night was just amazing.

We have new carparks and we have a very extensive traffic management plan, the gardaí were here until the early hours.

“Everybody rolled in together. We were just so unfortunate yesterday but thankfully today is a good day.”

Despite the rain, 87,000 visitors made the trip to Screggan yesterday.

After a status yellow weather warning being issued for yesterday, Met Éireann is forecasting mostly dry and bright weather for the final day of the Ploughing.

When asked if they might consider another destination for the Ploughing next year, McHugh said: “I don’t know any site we’d have in Ireland that would be any different.

We are using grass and stubble grounds, it’s the nature of the event. There’s only so much you can do with the fields.

She said park and rides could be considered but people like to have their cars nearby to drop off their shopping through the day.

“We’ve had rain all September so there was no chance for the ground to dry. So really it wasn’t so much about the venue yesterday, it was just the amount of rain that had fallen.”

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