Storm Ali forces closure of National Ploughing Championships
Second day of event cancelled after public display area suffers damage from strong winds
The National Ploughing Championships will be closed for the day as strong gales from Storm Ali buffeted marquees and exhibitor tents in the public display area.
However, the National Ploughing Association confirmed that as a result it would open the event arena for an extra day on Friday, with wristbands for Wednesday valid for both Thursday and Friday.
Following the decision to close for the day, Anna Marie McHugh of the National Ploughing Association told RTÉ’s Today with Sean O’Rourke show that the organisers had hoped that the winds would die down sooner and that the event could go ahead, but following a health and safety review at 11am a decision was made to cancel it completely.
“A lot of remedial work will be done later today. We will definitely be open tomorrow,” said Ms McHugh.
“We are considering Friday, but we have to consult with all the exhibitors and all the emergency providers. There are 300 gardaí here. We cannot consider opening without their assistance. It’s in the mix, we will update later today.”
A large marquee, known as the Blackwater, and an arcade containing several display stalls were blown over by winds.
Several other tents, pagodas, stalls, and portable toilets were also blown over.
A large sheet of metal was partly ripped from a display screen and was pinned precariously on top of the screen.