70,000 to attend weather-hit ploughing championships

by Gazette Reporter
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They say you need to be a hardy soul for farming-related activity in this country and this week an estimated 70,000 land-lovers were drawn to Co Laois despite the persistent inclemency of the weather.

Visitors  faced the elements armed with wellington boots, waterproof rain gear and indomitable attitudes as part of their defence mechanisms, backing up the old maxim by Alfred Wainwright who once wrote: “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.”

The Assistant Managing Director of the National Ploughing Championships, Anna Marie McHugh, echoed these sentiments when she warned people intending to make the journey to Ratheniska to expect  “ploughing weather.”

All three days right up to today’s (Thurs) finish will be accompanied by heavy showers, but hopefully not too often.

Ms McHugh pointed out that Ratheniska this year was wet, adding “there’s no place for the runners this year unfortunately”. 

She also urged visitors to carpool where approriate. “In as far as possible, make a little bit more effort to do things like carpool. The less cars that are in circulation, all the better for the ground. And also if people were half thinking of getting the train, why not get it? The shuttle is fantastic from the three train stations around the site, so little things like that will help the site,” she said.

“We’re very conscious of our footprint, and that’s why we try to encourage people to take the bus or the train and reduce the number of cars on the road”.

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