VIDEO: Farmers talk of having to work outside farm to supplement income

Tens of thousands of people have gathered in Co Laois for the opening day of the National Ploughing Championships.

VIDEO: Farmers talk of having to work outside farm to supplement income

Tens of thousands of people have gathered in Co Laois for the opening day of the National Ploughing Championships.

Organisers say a total of 77,500 people passed through Ratheniska today, that is down on the 88,000 who attended the first day of last year’s championships.

Organisers are still confident more than 200,000 will attend the flagship agricultural event in Ratheniska between now and Thursday to visit more than 1,500 stands across the 800-acre site.

Irish Examiner reporter Noel Baker asked farmers at the championships about other sources of income off the farm after the

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Video Dan Linehan

He found some farmers who either worked to earn another source of income outside the farm, or knew farmers who did it, and was told it "is a fact of life with farming".

Gardaí say traffic has eased around Ratheniska, while the sunny weather is expected to last until tomorrow.

They are advising anyone planning to make the trip to Co Laois to plan in advance and use public transport where possible.

James Kelly from Laois in the vintage section on the first day of the National Ploughing Championships at Ratheniska, Stradbally, Co Laois. Picture Dan Linehan
James Kelly from Laois in the vintage section on the first day of the National Ploughing Championships at Ratheniska, Stradbally, Co Laois. Picture Dan Linehan

Opening the event, President Michael D Higgins said the Ploughing has become a "celebration of rural Ireland".

He said: "The Championships - they're now the largest outdoor event in Europe.

"And all we need is just a little luck with the weather, that's why we have so many people who are praying consistently and using their powers to make sure that at least this opening will go well."

Tomorrow, the leaders of all four main political parties will attend the event with one eye on the General Election.

A section of the large crowd at the first day of the National Ploughing Championships at Ratheniska, Stradbally, Co Laois. Picture Dan Linehan
A section of the large crowd at the first day of the National Ploughing Championships at Ratheniska, Stradbally, Co Laois. Picture Dan Linehan

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