Thousands To Descend On Laois For Day One Of National Ploughing Championships

Over 1,700 exhibitions will be on display over the next three days.

All roads lead to Laois this morning for the first day of the National Ploughing Championships.

300,000 people are expected to descend on Ratheniska over the next three days, with over 1,700 exhibitions on display.

From a cyclone machine, to an attempt to set the Guinness World Record for the most people throwing wellingtons, the National Ploughinhg Championship has something for everyone. 

The annual event is known for its display of machinery, livestock, cookery, crafts and more. 

The event is once again being held in Ratheniska, with current Reversible Ploughing World Champion, John Whelan praising the location:

As the summer draws to a close however, the weather has been taking a negative turn. Rhode's Cathal Nolan from Ireland's Weather Channel says recent weather warnings will have an impact:

There has been controversy surrounding this year's event with their decision to go cashless. Anyone wanting to attend is being urged to buy tickets online ahead of time. 

People travelling to the site are also being advised to check the Traffic Management Plan.

Andy Kinsella from Travella Solutions has developed an interactive map of the site, which he says may come in handy for school groups:

The newly-crowned Rose of Tralee Róisín Wiley will attend - although the New York native isn't sure what to expect:

The National Ploughing Association says the decision to go cashless for tickets was made for health and safety reasons.

It's urging anyone attending the Ploughing Championships in Ratheniska over the next three days to buy their tickets online ahead of time.

Assistant Managing Director with the NPA, Anna Marie McHugh, says anyone without a ticket could miss out if they reach capacity:

People attending the National Ploughing Championships today are being asked to take part in a World Record breaking effort tomorrow.

Macra Na Feirme will attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the most wellies thrown at the same time.

It's currently held by a group of farmers in the UK, who threw 792 wellington boots in 2018.

The attempt is taking place at 12pm tomorrow, at Pedestrian Gate Nine.

Macra Na Feirme President, Elaine Houlihan, says it will be an important milestone:

The weather hasn't dampened the spirits of the crowds who've started to arrive for the first day of the National Ploughing Championships.

Hundreds of thousands are expected at the field in Ratheniska in Laois over the next three days.

Gardaí are asking motorists not to follow a sat nav while making their way to carparks, and to follow traffic diversions.

These people at the Ploughing say they've come well prepared for the weather:

The first day of the National Ploughing Championships is into its last hour in Laois.

Thousands have braved the wet and windy conditions in Ratheniska for the 92nd edition of the event.

As well as the ploughing itself, they were treated to bands, a fashion show and a brown bread baking competition.

This man says he has had a tough day of work, but is enjoying himself:


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