Taoiseach joins record numbers at Ploughing Championships

Enda Kenny just one of some 250,000 who have visited Ratheniska since Tuesday

Alison Healy reports from the 83rd National Ploughing Championships taking place on an 800 acre site in County Laois, featuring 390 competitors, 1400 stands and lots more. Video: Bryan O'Brien


A new record is set to be achieved today as the National Ploughing Championships draws to a close with overall attendance expected to top 250,000. Some 124,500 attended the event in Ratheniska, near Stradbally, Co Laois yesterday, adding to the 82,000 on Tuesday.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny spent the afternoon at the site and, like President Michael D Higgins earlier this week, he began his visit with a tour of the ploughing plots.

There was some rain at the site early this morning but traffic moved well and organisers said vehicles were having no difficulty entering and leaving the 25 car parks.

The big exodus from Ratheniska starts this evening after the national winners of the ploughing competitions are announced.

The winners of the conventional and reversible competitions will go forward to represent Ireland in the World Ploughing Championships in Denmark next year.

Eamonn Tracey from Carlow took gold at this year’s world event in Bordeaux, France with John Whelan from New Ross, Co Wexford winning a bronze medal.