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.


The sun shone bright in a clear blue sky today as 113,500 visitors relished in an electric atmosphere, quite like no other in Ballintrane, Fenagh, Co Carlow.  This brings the total attendance so far this week to an all-time record high of 216,000 over the first two days.  Speaking this evening, NPA Managing Director Anna May McHugh said “We expected large crowds again today given the positive reports and great feedback received yesterday, the festive spirit was truly alive & well with rural and urban dwellers alike relishing in the joyful mood.

Revelers experienced all of the delights of ‘Ploughing’ such as a unique vintage display, top-class machinery demonstrations, the junior hunt chase, a food fayre, funfair, sheep shearing demos, lifestyle & retail villages, meggers, award winning livestock, craft & cookery competitions and skills, threshing, robot display and much more.

In the afternoon the ever popular Best Dressed ‘County Style’ Lady & the ‘Most Appropriately’ Dressed Gentleman competitions ( Sponsored by Etihad Airways) were hotly contested in the dedicated Fashion Show Marquee.   A Carlow native Liz Farrell beat off stiff competition from the ladies to take the top prize and secure a fabulous prize worth €7,000 including a pair of return flights from Dublin to Abu Dhabi, a four-night stay in luxury 5-Star accommodation and two complimentary passes for the activities and attractions on Yas Island.  The ‘Most Appropriately’ Dressed Gentleman, sponsored by Detail Menswear and Wine Port Lodge, went to Gerry Johnston from Co Clare. He takes home a bespoke custom-made suit and a weekend away in one of Ireland the luxurious Wineport Lodge.

With the final day of the 88th National Championships tomorrow everyone is eagerly anticipating all of tomorrow’s action with World Master Class Ploughers in action.


Spirits were high as visitors poured onto the site from early morning and the day didn’t disappoint the 102,500 attendees as clear blue skies shone throughout the day, shoppers and agricultural enthusiasts joined celebrities and politicians on over 30km of metal roadway to experience a great day out.  From farming to fashion, artisan foods to top-of-the range machinery; the very best of what Ireland has to offer was on display today for people of all interests to enjoy.

Commenting on attendance, Ms Anna May McHugh stated “We are extremely pleased with the turn out today.  The traffic flowed well thanks to the guard’s traffic management and visitor co-operation. Everywhere you looked people were smiling and enjoying themselves experiencing the whole array of activities on offer.  With the good weather set to continue along with 2 more action packed days of trading and ploughing, we are expecting similar crowds all week.

President Michael D. Higgins officially launched the event paying tribute to Ms Anna May McHugh, the Gardaí, Carlow County Council and the hundreds of volunteers and staff that are required to stage the event. He also visited the ploughing plots to examine the conditions and meet with the Under 28 conventional competitors and Horse Ploughing competitions. Having witnessed the competitive conditions and chatted with the county representatives, he then attended and visited several exhibitors to experience and witness all that the Championships has to offer

Ken Smyth from Palatine Engineering Ltd the overall winner of the prestigious “Machine of the Year’ competition with the P.P Ripper said he ‘was absolutely overwhelmed with the result.”  The judges Melvin Bailey Brofi International, UCD’s Kevin McDonald and Wilfried Wolf from DLG were extremely impressed with the strength of all of the 15 entries.
With all that is happening on site tomorrow, Ballintrane, Fenagh, Co Carlow is officially the place to be for #Ploughing19.