THE National Ploughing Championships solidified its repuatation as one of the country’s premier events when 190,000 people attended the championships at Cardenton, Athy last week. The attendance was up over 10,000 on last year’s event.
For Anna May McHugh, Managing Director of the National Ploughing Association, it was a sweet topping for the event’s 80th birthday. “We are truly delighted with this year’s event, particularly with the fantastic number of visitors we had on the 80th anniversary of the National Ploughing Association, which all started back in 1931 on this very site. I would like to sincerely thank all involved for their help, support and co operation for making this year’s event such a special one.”
The three day’s saw a roll call of the Attending today’s event was An Taoiseach Enda Kenny T.D., Fine Gale presidential candidate Gay Mitchell, All Ireland Kilkenny hurlers with the Liam McCarthy Cup, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin and Archbishop Michael Jackson, retired jockey Michael Kinane, plus many more.
Taking a break from the campaign trail, Taoiseach Enda Kenny T.D. joined Anna May McHugh to make a special presentation to two members of the agricultural media who are retiring this year, Sean McConnell, journalist with The Irish Times and John Caffrey, photographer with The Farmers Journal. Speaking at the presentation, Anna May McHugh stated “the contribution that these two men have given to the rural community is immeasurable and they will be sincerely missed by all readers”.
Next year the National Ploughing Championships heads south to Heathpark, New Ross, County Wexford , September 25 – 27 . As this year’s event draws to a close, preparations are already underway for what will be a highly anticipated annual event.