National Ploughing Championships organisers make statement on September's event

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

Anna May McHugh

Laois woman Anna May McHugh is the Managing Director of the National Ploughing Championships

The National Ploughing Championships organisers have confirmed that this year's huge event is as yet still taking place.

A spokesperson told the Leinster Express today Wednesday April 22 that their position remains one of awaiting further Government guidelines on the Covid-19 pandemic.

It follows an announcement by Government yesterday that events with more than 5,000 people will not be considered for licencing until September. Last year the championships had a total of 297,000 visitors over three days.

"The NPA are closely monitoring and following government guidelines on the Covid-19 pandemic with public health and safety our foremost priority," the NPA said last week.

"We will act in the best interest of the country if and when the time comes that a decision has to be made about Ploughing’2020. NPA do not foresee that a decision will have to be made until much closer to the Championships," they said.

The event is due to take place in Ballintrane, Fenagh, Carlow on September 15 to 17. 

"Until that time we will continue making plans for the event in as far as is possible adhering to government guidelines and we will work with exhibitors to ensure we can give their business the best support we can in these very difficult times," the NPA stated.

A fortnight ago they opened their Trade Exhibition online booking system, two weeks later than usual due to the outbreak of Covid-19.

They are however offering a full refund to all exhibitors who wish to pull out.

Approximately one third of the club/county qualifying ploughing matches for this year’s National had to be postponed due to the crises and these will be re-scheduled for a later date. 

It is headed up by award winning Laois businesswoman Anna May McHugh, currently cocooning in her Ballyadams home.