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Disappointment for Tipperary people as National Ploughing championships trade exhibitions are cancelled

Noel Dundon

Reporter:

Noel Dundon

Email:

nd@tipperarylive.ie

Laois Ploughing team all set for the National Ploughing Championships

The ploughing championships hope to go ahead but not the trade exhibitions

The ploughing competitions will be held behind closed gates

There is  great disappointment in Tipperary this morning at the news that the National Ploughing Association have cancelled the National Ploughing Trade Exhibition due to take place in Ballintrane, Fenagh, Co Carlow from September 15th to 17th

However, there is still hope that there will be an opportunity to run the ploughing competitions behind closed gates due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Thousands of Tipperary people travel to the ploughing championships each year - it is an annual pilgrimage and one of the best days out of the year with young and old alike mingling freely. And, it is about much more than just the ploughing - the event is one of the biggest outdoor trade events in Europe and it represents a major portion of sales income for traders who flock to the venue in their droves to erect stalls and sell their wares.

The NPA Managing Director Anna May McHugh said that “the Executive reached this very difficult decision to cancel the Trade Exhibition as public health and safety is our foremost priority given the current global pandemic. With visitor attendance last year of 297,000 and up to 1,700 exhibitors, we had too many concerns about how we could implement social distancing and the potential risk of bringing together people from all over the country.

However we are still hoping that we may be able to run the National Ploughing Competitions behind closed gates and that situation will be closely reviewed over the next number of weeks”.

Obviously this is very disappointing news for the hundreds of exhibitors that have already booked exhibition space but NPA will be making full refunds over the next few weeks.

With an annual economic impact reported to be in the region of 45 million euro the loss of this event is massively significant to the Irish Economy however the NPA are looking at the positive that 2021 will mark the 90th year of the NPA and Ireland will be hosting the World Ploughing Contest in tandem with the National on 15th-16th-17th -18th September – venue to be confirmed