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.

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