As the final flow of traffic departs from the car parks this evening, the total attendance figure for the 88th Championships came to a record breaking 297,000 visitors over the 3 days, with exhibitors and visitors alike thoroughly enjoying themselves making this the most successful National Ploughing Championships to date.
Speaking at the close of business, NPA Managing Director Anna May McHugh said ” Traffic to and from the site has been moving well all week and credit is due to An Garda Síochána and the traffic management plan that was implemented. With record numbers attending, everyone expected to meet some holdups but the traffic was kept flowing at all times with only the very minimum of delays.
We are delighted with the overall attendance figure this year. The three days ran extremely smoothly and everywhere I looked there were cheery smiling faces with all members of the family thoroughly enjoying themselves.”
Taking the opportunity to press the flesh, several Government Ministers, Party Leaders and elected representatives were manning their tents and pouring customary cups of tea. Some of the nationally recognisable political representatives today included an Taoiseach Leo Varadkar who visited many stands and even took the opportunity to plough a plot.
Other senior politicians included Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed who took the opportunity to hold a media conference in the NPA HQ. Also among those attending today were the two Michéals, Minister Michéal Ring and the Fianna Fáil leader Michéal Martin.
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 Russia next year
The NPA would like to wish everyone a safe journey home and thank all involved for making this the most memorable Ploughing of all time.