This year’s National Ploughing Championships in Tullamore, Co. Offally, attracted a record-breaking crowd, with the total attendance figure for the 86th annual event coming to 291,500 over the three days.
Speaking at the close of business, NPA Managing Director Anna May McHugh said: “Despite experiencing a wet Wednesday during the three-day festival, the overall mood for this year’s Ploughing has been incredibly buoyant and positive.
“With so much for visitors to enjoy from quality livestock and serious machinery to fashion, celebrities and sports stars galore there was something for every member of the family to enjoy.”
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar attended the final day and congratulated the NPA on another successful year, as Jack Nagle, a 16-year-old student from Kerry, was the popular winner of the Enterprise Ireland, NPA, FJ Innovation Arena “People’s Choice Award” with his Tractor Safe Lock initiative.
The hotly contested National Brown Bread Baking final took place in the Aldi tent in front of an audience of several hundred and won by Mary Conway from Sligo. Edward Roe from Tipperary beat off some stiff competition to be crowned the winner of the inaugural Macra Safe Driving competition.
In the ploughing competition Eamonn Tracey from Carlow won the overall Conventional class, while Wexford man John Whelan won the Reversible Ploughing competition.
Both men will again represent Ireland at the World Ploughing contest in Germany next year.