VIDEO: Take a tour of the massive National Ploughing Championships site

VIDEO: Take a tour of the massive National Ploughing Championships site

More than 200,000 people are expected to attend this year’s National Ploughing Championships which gets underway in Co Laois this morning.

President Higgins will officially open the event - which will feature more than 1,500 stands.

Heavy showers are expected over the coming days - and Gardaí are warning motorists to expect slow-moving traffic around the site.

Now in their 84th year - the National Ploughing Championships are considered the flagship event in Irish agriculture, and is regarded as the biggest outdoor exhibition and agricultural trade show in Europe.

Last year’s championships were the biggest yet - with over 279,000 people visiting the 800-acre site in Ratheniska, Co Laois - spending over €36.5m.

Almost €10m of that was spent on food. Personal shopping accounted for about €7m.

Organisers say they have similar expectations for the three days ahead.

With a General Election on the horizon, the usual influx of politicians is expected to be even more significant, while there will be a heavy focus fashion, music and motoring.

A protest that was due to take place against the construction of pylons at the Ploughing Championships this week has been cancelled.

Anti-pylon groups say that there were safety concerns over the demonstration.

They say that there may have been health and safety implications for holding a protest on "such a divisive and emotive issue" at a family event.

Wind Aware Ireland said that the danger of an individual or group acting unilaterally at an event with so many children present was a deciding factor in cancelling the demonstration.

More on this topic

Comment: Taoiseach ploughs his own furrow  at National Ploughing ChampionshipComment: Taoiseach ploughs his own furrow  at National Ploughing Championship

62,000 people attend final day of Ploughing Championships after 'difficult week' for organisers62,000 people attend final day of Ploughing Championships after 'difficult week' for organisers

Micheál Martin hits out at Britain over post-Brexit food safety suggestionMicheál Martin hits out at Britain over post-Brexit food safety suggestion

Ploughing Championships set to resume today after storm closurePloughing Championships set to resume today after storm closure

More in this Section

Contractors told they had two weeks to leave IrelandContractors told they had two weeks to leave Ireland

Man, 70s, dies after getting into difficulty swimming in Galway beachMan, 70s, dies after getting into difficulty swimming in Galway beach

Irish man dies after incident in New YorkIrish man dies after incident in New York

Portuguese fishing boat detained until €150k bond paidPortuguese fishing boat detained until €150k bond paid


Lifestyle

These green pancakes are topped with avocado, tomato and cottage cheese.How to make Jamie Oliver’s super spinach pancakes

Who else can pull off a look described as a ‘hip-hop Michelin woman’?As her new EP drops, this is why there will never be a style icon quite like Missy Elliott

The classic white-tipped look is once again in favour, and celebs are loving it.The French manicure is back – 5 modern ways to try the trend

The A-Listers hiding in plain sight: As Rihanna is spotted at the cricket, who are the celebs who have been living under our noses in Ireland? Ed Power reports.Celebs in plain sight: The A-Listers living under our noses in Ireland

More From The Irish Examiner