National Ploughing Championships

  • Up to 300,000 people are expected to travel to the National Ploughing Championships which get underway tomorrow in Screggan, near Tullamore.

    Traffic from the West will be following the Green Route, taking the M6 motorway from Athlone and exiting at Junction 6, where traffic will be directed towards Moate, Ballycumber and Rahan village.

    The 3-day National Ploughing Championships will be officially opened tomorrow morning by President Michael D Higgins.

    Now in its 87th year, it's the biggest agricultural event in Europe and attracts visitors from all over the country to the Co Offaly site.

  • It's been a busy morning at the National Ploughing Championships in Screggan, Co Offaly.

    Organisers are expecting up to 300,000 people to visit during the three days of the event, which is one of Europe's biggest agricultural events.


    The IFA's Galway-based President Joe Healy is again calling on the Agriculture  Minister Michael Creed to open the low-cost loan scheme announced in last year's Budget, to assist farmers facing fodder shortages and huge feed bills this Winter.

    Speaking with Midwest News this lunchtime from Screggan, Joe Healy said farmers need help to buy fodder and pay bills, and he says it's farcical that - almost 12 months on from the announcement - the low-cost loan scheme is still not in place.



  • The rollout of the National Broadband Plan will be delayed again as TDs look at reviewing how the contract was awarded.

    The government hoped to sign a contract with the preferred bidder, Granahan McCourt, in time for an announcement at this week's National Ploughing Championship.

    Minsiter for Communications, Richard Bruton, says the contract process cannot be re-started though as suggested by some Dáil members.

  • The organisers of the National Ploughing Championships are meeting this week to discuss whether this year's event can go ahead.

    The event's scheduled for mid-September, but is in doubt because of the coronavirus crisis.

    Almost 300,000 people attended last year's event, but social-distancing rules may affect the 2020 edition.

    Anna-Marie McHugh, deputy managing director of the National Ploughing Association, says a decision will be made this month.

  • IT Sligo Mechanical Engineering students have won the 2018 Peoples Choice Award at the National Ploughing Championship for their innovative product, Monte Loader.  The Monte Loader is a Universal Rear End Loader that enables farmers to carry and move large heavy objects such as round bails, using any tractor.  

    Patrick Masterson, Brian Griffin, Dylan McBrearty from Mountcharles and Cormac Donnelly from Donegal Town, designed the product as part of their third year project.   The team received the People’s Choice Award in the Innovation Arena by, National Ploughing Association Cheif, Anna May McHugh.

    Over the past two years the students carried out extensive research, attending agricultural and machinery shows and interviewing farmers across the country.  From their research the team discovered a gap in the market for a cost effective rear end loader which would be universal to all tractors.  The product was then designed and produced at IT Sligo’s engineering workshops with the guidance of technical staff and lecturers.

  • Over 200,000 people- as well as exhibitors, buyer and visitors from more than a dozen countries - will descend on Co Carlow this week for the National Ploughing Championships - probably the biggest event of the year in rural Ireland.

    The championships take place from tomorrow until Thursday at Balllintrane, Fenagh , and will showcase Irish food, farming and culture.

    Millions of euro worth of agricultural and plant machinery will be on display, as well as livestock shows.

    Food producers, retailers and celebrity chefs will showcase some of Ireland's finest foods, while fashion shows, motor shows, sheep shearing, vintage ploughing, live music and entertainment can all be expected over the 3 days of the event - as well as the ploughing championships involving some 300 people.

    The Local Enterprise Village will include an unprecedented number of diverse businesses, while the Innovation Arena will showcase new technologies and ideas.

    Gardai and organisers are urging those travelling to Carlow from the West of Ireland to exit the M6 motorway at junction 5 and follow the Green Route, through Tullamore, Mountmellick, Athy, Castledermot and on towards Tullow where they will be directed at the site to the Green Car Park.