Stradbally swaps pop for plough
Stradbally will swap pop stars for ploughing next September when the National Ploughing Championships opens in Ratheniska on September 24th, just weeks after the Electric Picnic has packed up and gone home.
The three-day farming event will be held on the land of David Carter and his family, while neighbouring farmers will provide land for ploughing and parking. The total site will stretch over 700 acres.
The ploughing event was last held in Ratheniska 70 years ago but Laois has been a popular venue for the championships in more recent years. Ballacolla hosted the event in 1995, 2000 and 2002.
This year’s ploughing championships in Heathpark, New Ross attracted 187,500 people, despite the bad weather and heavy traffic. The central location of Stradbally is expected to draw a bigger crowd next year as it is just off the N80 and M7.
National Ploughing Association managing director Anna May McHugh said she was delighted the event was returning to her home county “and I am really looking forward to working with the people of Ratheniska, Stradbally and Laois to make this one of our best events yet”.