Laois may not get World Ploughing Championships as high profile politician backs new bid

Leinster Express Reporter

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The chances of the National Ploughing Championships returning home to Laois in the near future look to have been dented by the involvement of one of the country's best known politicians involvment in a campaign to bring it elsewhere.

Two extensive Tipperary sites are in the running to host the World Ploughing Championships in 2021, but face stiff competition from at least two other locations in the south east.

One of the sites being mentioned is the Tipperary Venue site at Noard, Two-Mile-Borris which is owned by Mr Richard Quirke. However, this site would require, and has, the support of adjoining landowners to create the required 1,000 acre landbank.

Tipperary TD Michael Lowry is involved in the campaign to bring the ploughing to Tipp. He has been in consultation with NPA managing director Anna May McHugh. He is also member of the World Ploughling Board.

He told the Tipperary Star that that chosing Tipperary would mean an investment and cash boost of “multiples of millions” to the economy.

“One thing they always insist upon is using local suppliers, contractors, and services and this would be very good news for the area. Both Tipperary sites are well placed and the benefits would be very widely spread were one of them to get the go ahead.

"There is also huge local involvement with clubs and groups and real opportunities for a multiplicity of organisations to benefit from the overall ploughing experience,” said Deputy Lowry said.

There were hopes that the ploughing's return to Ratheniska in Laois would coincide with the staging of the World Championships.