Noel Whelan: My dad fretted over the Ploughing Championships weather for 35 years

The show is now a compulsory pilgrimage for all office-holders and political wannabes

Organisers of the National Ploughing Championships have taken the decision to close on day two of the festival due to the high winds caused by Storm Ali. Video: Tom Honan

Rain and muck is what my father used to worry about most over these three days in September. I don’t ever recall him worrying about the wind. For 35 years he was chief exhibition supervisor at the National Ploughing Championships.

He was a postman by profession but from early August to mid-September each year he would use up his leave to work for six weeks with the National Ploughing Association (NPA) on location at that ploughing site. A long-time official with the Wexford County Ploughing Association, he joined the site team marking out the trade stands for the national event in 1971 and, from then until he passed in 2008, he led the team of event service providers and exhibitors, and oversaw the site build.

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