Pat Hennessy
Laois IFA chairman Pat Hennessy is looking forward to the massive three day event in Ratheniska.

Laois IFA chairman Pat Hennessy is looking forward to the massive three day event in Ratheniska.

“It’s a huge celebration and we’re delighted to have it back again. It will save a lot of travel for local farmers who go to it every year”.

He said that the biggest problem last year was traffic and getting stuck either heading into the event or on the way back home.

“Most farmers have jobs to do in the morning before they go and when they come home again so it is important that they can get in and out okay. Laois is quite a central location so it shouldn’t be a problem”.

He added that Laois farmers are honoured to have the prestigious event in their county, one of the major events on the agricultural calander.

“People come from all over the country and there is a great buzz about the social aspect. As well as that, the presidential candidate is from Laois IFA”.

Pat said that the ground for the championships themselves is in good condition and is up there at the top. “That particular area in Ratheniska is renowned for its tillage, there is quality tillage there. The ploughmen would be happy to come to Laois. There are different types of soil but Laois has as good as it gets”.

The site is quite busy at the moment with preparations well underway, and Pat is expecting good progress to be made over the next week. “There are quite a number of local volunteers from the local area helping out and the IFA will also have about a dozen or so stewards as well. This is a great chance to showcase what goes on in Laois and there will be plenty of local small farm enterprises there over the three days”.

The county also reaps economic benefits as well. “There is a great spin off for the county, with hotels, restaurants and guest houses doing well. Many towns in Laois have lost a lot of passing trade with the motorways but this will be a great boost”. He added that the IFA will be out in force over the three days. “Election year always has a great buzz and we will be out in force promoting Ger Bergin from Ballacolla, our presidential candidate.