2019 Championships in Co Carlow!

The NPA Managing Director Anna May McHugh was delighted to announce yesterday evening at the ‘Ploughing Prizewinners Banquet’ that the 88th National Ploughing Championships will be held on a superb, centrally located site in Co Carlow from September 17th to 19th.

The site was confirmed as the ideal location for the 2019 Championships at the prize-giving ceremony attended by over 500 in the Bridge House Hotel, Tullamore, Co Offaly.

Speaking after the announcement the NPA Managing Director Anna May McHugh said “We are delighted to be staging the event in Ballintrane, Fenagh, Co Carlow, as the site has all of the criteria to qualify it as an excellent place to stage next year’s ‘Ploughing’.

“I would also like to take the opportunity to thank the people of Offaly for all of the goodwill and support for the last three successful years, when the event was held in Screggan, Tullamore, Co Offaly.

Announcing Ballintrane, Fenagh, Co. Carlow as the venue for Ploughing 2019 are Landowners with Anna May McHugh, NPA Managing Director; Cathaoirleach of Carlow County Council Brian O’Donoghue; Kathleen Holohan, Chief Executive of Carlow County Council and Carlow ploughmen Eamonn Treacy (World Conventional champion) and John Treacy at the Ploughing Banquet and Awards in Tullamore, Sunday 7th October 2018.
Picture: Alf Harvey.

Anna May McHugh also congratulated all of the winners who were awarded at the prize-giving ceremony, and commented “that all of the hard work and training throughout the year has truly paid off so you should all truly enjoy your triumphs.”

Current World Ploughing Conventional Champion Winner Eamonn Tracey from Carlow will again represent Ireland in next year’s World Ploughing Contest in the USA. And silver medal winner John Whelan from Wexford will take part in the Reversible Class.


As the traffic flows from the car parks this evening, the total attendance figure for the 2018 National Ploughing Championships came to a total of 240,700 over the 3 days, there was a more relaxed mood today with visitors thoroughly enjoying themselves on the final day of this year’s Ploughing Championships.

Speaking at the close of business, Ms Anna Marie McHugh said “We are delighted with the overall attendance figure this year, particularly given the unprecedented natural event of storm Ali causing the postponement of the event on Wednesday. With true Irish spirit and resilience the exhibitors, contractors, service providers, NPA team and local volunteers worked tirelessly to ensure that the site was up and ready for business on Thursday morning. And all attendees really appreciated the additional day today to exhibit and visit again.”

James Lutrell from Portlaoise was the worthy winner of the ‘Most Appropriately Dressed Gentleman’ competition, he will receive a prize of a stay in the exclusive Wineport Lodge nestled on the banks of Lough Ree, in Athlone County Westmeath, plus a bespoke custom-made suit sponsored by Master Tailor himself, Louis Copeland.

The NPA would like to wish everyone a safe journey home and thank you for your contribution in making #Ploughing18 a most memorable event.


Despite the destructive appetite of Storm Ali and her best efforts to put paid to the National Ploughing Championships, exhibitors, contractors, service providers, the NPA team and local volunteers put in a mammoth effort and returned the site to all its glory, and as a result it was business as usual this morning for Day 2 of this year’s event.

A crowd of 81,500 visitors descended upon the site here in Screggan, Tullamore to savour all of this year’s Ploughing. Speaking this evening, NPA Managing Director Anna May McHugh said “the feedback from exhibitors so far is that business is extremely vibrant and those I spoke with today said sales are already well ahead of what they predicted, and are delighted to have another opportunity to exhibit again tomorrow Friday the 21st of September given yesterday’s unforeseen postponement. This is very positive for both rural Ireland and the wider economy.”

“Shoppers, machinery and agricultural enthusiasts joined celebrities and politicians on the 30 kilometres of track way to savour all of what Ploughing has to offer.”

The hotly contested National Brown Bread Baking final took place in the Aldi tent in front of an audience of several hundred. The overall winner in first place was Mother of three Emma Ferguson from Trim in Co Meath, who had only given birth 2 and a half weeks ago. Emma was absolutely delighted with her win as she is now the 2018 National Irish Brown Bread Baker and her bread will be sold in every Aldi store in the country.

Despite some showers this evening, traffic is moving smoothly out of car parks and visitors are returning home happy. Gates will open to the public at 9.00am tomorrow morning Friday 21st of September.


Spirits were high and the atmosphere electric despite the occasional shower, visitors poured in the gates from early morning to embrace the ‘Ploughing’ experience. With 97,500 attendees enjoying everything from farming to fashion, artisan foods to top-of-the range machinery, quality livestock and ploughing competitions of an excellent standard.

This year’s event is the perfect example of the very best of what Ireland has to offer for people of all interests and sensibilities.

President Michael D. Higgins officially launched the event with a rousing address paying tribute to Ms Anna May McHugh, the Gardaí, Offaly County Council and the hundreds of volunteers and staff that are required to stage the event. Prior to this, he visited the ploughing plots to meet ploughing competitors. Having witnessed the high standard of competition he then chatted with the county representatives, he also attended and visited several exhibitors to experience and witness all that the Championships has to offer.

The highly anticipated and prestigious Machine of the Year competition result was also announced with congratulations going to Agri-Spread International for their Automatic GPS section control on their equipment with a double belt system and precision Ag controllers. The judges Melvin Bailey Brofi International, UCD’s Kevin McDonald and Wilfried Wolf from DLG were extremely impressed with the strength of the entries in this inaugural competition.

Speaking at the end of Day One, Ms Anna May McHugh stated “We are extremely pleased with the fantastic turnout today. The traffic flowed with ease thanks to the guard’s fantastic traffic management and visitor co-operation. Everywhere you looked people were smiling and enjoying themselves at a whole array of activities.”