Ireland to host National & World Ploughing in 2021.

National  & World Ploughing Championships 2021.

Ratheniska, Co. Laois.

Probably the largest National Ploughing Association in the world the NPA turns ninety in 2021 and to celebrate will host the
National & World Ploughing Championships from 15th to 18th September in Ratheniska, Co. Laois, Ireland.
Attracting an annual attendance of almost 300,000 this spectacular annual “Farming Festival” has it all!

On entering the golden fields of stubble prepare to be awed by the precision and skill of the ploughman as they hone their craft to join the realms of the elite National Ploughing Champions.
Leave behind the silent intensity of the competition fields to enter the trade arena comparable only to a busy town on market day.
Over 1,800 exhibitors sprawled over hundreds of acres Promoting, Selling, Educating and Entertaining the throngs of visitors that make their way to this bustling town built on a green field for just a few days once a year.

Agricultural Machinery and Livestock at the core of the Exhibition extending out to almost every product and service associated with Irish Life.
It’s not just about business – there are Food Fayres, Craft Demonstrations, Fashion Shows, Funfairs and traditional events Pony Club, Hunt Chase, Sheep Shearing, Sheep Dog Trials, Vintage Machinery Exhibition, Horse Shoe Throwing.
Some say “if you’ve been to “The Ploughing” then no explanation is necessary!
BUT if you haven’t no explanation is possible”
, such is the uniqueness of this event.

And once every decade or two the privelege of hosting a World Contest comes around bringing with it World’s finest ploughers from over 30 countries.
Let’s hope we get to see this premiere in Co. Laois in September and watch history in the making.


Ploughing 2020 – Trade Exhibition Cancelled


The NPA have cancelled the National Ploughing Trade Exhibition due to take place in Ballintrane, Fenagh, Co Carlow from September 15th to 17th but still hope that there will be an opportunity to run the ploughing competitions behind closed gates due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The NPA Managing Director Anna May McHugh said that “the Executive reached this very difficult decision to cancel the Trade Exhibition as public health and safety is our foremost priority given the current global pandemic. With visitor attendance last year of 297,000 and up to 1,700 exhibitors, we had too many concerns about how we could implement social distancing and the potential risk of bringing together people from all over the country.

However we are still hoping that we may be able to run the National Ploughing Competitions behind closed gates and that situation will be closely reviewed over the next number of weeks”.

Obviously this is very disappointing news for the hundreds of exhibitors that have already booked exhibition space but NPA will be making full refunds over the next few weeks.

With an annual economic impact reported to be in the region of 45 million euro the loss of this event is massively significant to the Irish Economy however the NPA are looking at the positive that 2021 will mark the 90th year of the NPA and Ireland will be hosting the World Ploughing Contest in tandem with the National on 15th-16th-17th -18th September – venue to be confirmed.


NPA cancel all ploughing classes except international qualifiers

The National Ploughing Association Executive made the difficult decision to cancel all National Ploughing Finals 2020 with the exception of Senior qualifier classes for 2021 which include qualification for the World Ploughing Contest scheduled to be hosted in Ireland next September.  The qualifying classes have been postponed until 6th – 7th – 8th October conditional on HSE & government recommendations at that time.

The NPA Managing Director Anna May McHugh said that “the Executive reached the decision to cancel the Trade Exhibition back in May in the hope that by September the National Ploughing Classes could go ahead behind closed gates,  however as public health and safety is the NPA’s foremost priority and with the recent surge in Covid-19 cases the Association felt that the safest option for everyone involved was to cancel the competitions.
With visitor attendance last year of 297,000 and up to 1,700 exhibitors the full event was not an option in the midst of a  global pandemic.

Exhibitors, visitors & patrons have all expressed their disappointment with “no ploughing this year” and the NPA together with a number of associates have planned a programme of online activations during what should have been “Ploughing Week”  starting on the 14th with the Enterprise Ireland and NPA  Innovation Awards, Exhibitor promotions and activations on 15th – 16th – 17th and the Aldi, NPA and ICA National Brown Bread Baking Competition finals on 17th September.   Follow #Ploughing2020.

With an annual economic impact reported to be in the region of €45 million the loss of this event is massively significant to the Irish Economy however the NPA are looking forward to September  2021 (15th-16th-17th -18th) marking the 90th year of the NPA and Ireland will be hosting the World Ploughing Contest in tandem with the National.

National Ploughing Association Managing Director, Anna May McHugh said “when lives are potentially at risk then we all have to take stock and just limit our activities to an absolute minimum – we will see brighter days please god in 2021 and I look forward to getting back to “the ploughing” as we know it.”

Ploughing Championships

We hope to return to normal services in 2021


The NPA Managing Director Anna May McHugh announced at the recent ‘Ploughing Prizewinners Awards Banquet’ that the 89th National Ploughing Championships will return again to the superb site in Ballintrane, Fenagh, Co Carlow following such as successful event this year.
The site was confirmed as the ideal location for the 2020Championships at the prize-giving ceremony attended by over 500 in Tullow.

Speaking after the announcement the NPA Managing Director Anna May McHugh said “We are delighted to be returning toBallintrane, Fenagh, Co Carlow, as the picturesque siteprovided all of the key criteria required to qualify it as a brilliant place to stage the National Ploughing Championships.
I would also like to take the opportunity to thank the people of Carlow for all of the goodwill and support this year in running the most successful National Ploughing Championships to date with 297,000 visitors and over 1,700 exhibitors.

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.”

Ploughing 2020 for Ballintrane, Fenagh, Co. Carlow. Announcing the site for 2020 are host families with officials and public representatives at the National Ploughing Association awards and banquet in the Mount Wolseley Hotel, Tullow, Sunday 13th October 2019.
Photo: Alf Harvey.

Again John Whelan from Wexford was the overall National Reversible Ploughing Competition winner and Eamonn Tracey the Conventional Ploughing winner and they will compete in World Ploughing Contest in Russia next year.


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.

Glanbia supports Pink at Ploughing!

Glanbia Chairman Martin Keane along with Glanbia Ireland Corporate Affairs Director Pat O’ Keeffe, presented a cheque for €25,000 to Catherine Wallace, Nurse Coordinator on Breast Health Education and Awareness at Breast Cancer Ireland at the Glanbia Ireland stand at the National Ploughing Championships on Wednesday. The funds were raised by employees and farmer suppliers who took part in the Pink Bales campaign and the Glanbia 300 annual charity cycle. Glanbia is the title sponsor of the Great Pink Run, a major fundraiser organised by Breast Cancer Ireland annually and this year’s event takes place in the Phoenix Park on October 19th and the Castle Park in Kilkenny on October 20th. Register now on


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.

Farmers warned about hidden dangers from confined spaces on farms

Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen TD, today officially opened the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) Farm Safety exhibit at the National Ploughing Championships in Ballintrane, Fenagh, County Carlow.

At the event, Minister Breen launched a new HSA publication on ‘Confined Spaces in Agriculture’, which explains the dangers associated with confined spaces and sets out practical steps on how to prevent life threatening incidents.

Minister Breen said the exposure to dangerous gases in confined spaces such as in a grain silo, slurry pit or storage tank is a real risk in modern farming.

“Farming is still the most dangerous job in Ireland with an average of 21 deaths a year in workplace incidents and 207 farming fatalities in the last decade (2009-2018). While there have been some improvements with 15 farm related deaths in 2018, every death is one too many, and leads to devastation for the loved ones and communities left behind. I would urge all those involved in working on farms to read the HSA’s new publication and to familiarise themselves with the dangers of working in confined spaces.”

There have been nine deaths in confined spaces on Irish farms in the last five years.  On foot of a request from the coroner into one of these fatalities in a bulk storage tank, the HSA compiled this new publication to help farmers identify confined spaces on their farms, and to warn farmers of the possible risks of exposure to dangerous gases in confined spaces.

HSA Chief Executive Officer, Dr Sharon McGuinness, said any confined space on a farm poses a potentially life-threatening hazard but the threat may not be apparent until it’s too late.

“We are very concerned that farmers generally don’t recognise or consider the dangers of confined spaces.

“Confined spaces such as silos, vats, tanks, wells, slurry pits and other enclosed or partly enclosed structures, can very quickly lead to suffocation and death if a person is exposed to dangerous vapours, toxic gases, dust or low oxygen levels.

“The safest approach with any confined space is to avoid going in there in the first place. If work must be done in a confined space, it should only be carried out by trained professionals.

“The message we want people to take away from our exhibit is that these places are not somewhere people should work or children should play,” Dr McGuinness concluded.

With 14 confirmed farm fatalities so far this year, the HSA will be providing live safety demonstrations at the ploughing championship on key issues to help reduce farm fatalities and injuries.

The exhibit area on the HSA Ploughing Stand will feature vehicle safety, machinery safety, quad bike safety, vehicle crush zones, safe tractor use and PTO management.  There will also be a major focus on safe working at height and the Order of Malta will enact an emergency services incident response each morning for visitors to the stand.

There will be reminders on how to stay safe on the farm with rolling footage of ‘Survivor Stories’, ‘Livestock Safety’ and ‘Older, Wiser, Safer’ DVDs on view within the marquee.  Meanwhile, the Irish Heart Foundation will offer blood pressure and health checks to farmers to help reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Copies of the new ‘Confined Spaces in Agriculture’ publication will be freely available at the HSA exhibit at (Block 2, Row 21, Stand 462), or can be downloaded from the HSA website here


Peter McVerry Trust – Empty Homes Panel – Thursday 19th September

Event:  Panel Discussion on Empty Homes and the Reviving of Ireland’s Rural Towns
Date & Time: 11.00am, Thursday 19th September 2019
Location: Row 36, Block 4, Stand 692

Event Details:
Peter McVerry Trust will host a panel discussion looking at how we can regenerate rural towns and villages by reusing empty buildings.

The panel will be moderated by Joyce Fegan, of the Irish Examiner, with panellists Alison Harvey of the Heritage Council, Paul Johnston of Waterford County Council and Aoife Corcoran of Peter McVerry Trust.

The event will look at the challenges facing rural towns, how empty homes can play a key role and what steps need to be taken to get buildings back into use. Each of the speakers will be able to highlight successful reuse examples.

Peter McVerry Trust – Rural Homelessness Report Launch – Tuesday 17th September

Event: Launch of Peter McVerry Trust’s Report on Rural Homelessness
Date & Time: 11.00am, Tuesday 17th September 2019
Location: Row 36, Block 4, Stand 692

Event Details:
Peter McVerry Trust will publish a new report examining rural homelessness in Ireland. The report will look at the number of people now impacted by homelessness and the factors driving rural homelessness outside of Irish cities. It will set out five new measures to tackle rural homelessness.

The main speaker at the event will be Pat Doyle, CEO of Peter McVerry Trust.


UCD are delighted to attend the ploughing again this year and would appreciate any support that you can offer.

During the course of the three days we have a number of activities planned. We will have live food science experiments in our marquee each day. We are launching our new Undergraduate Prospectus for 2020 which is always an important documents for potential agricultural science students each year and we are calling on Alumni to drop by and provide video testimonials to us over the three days.

We plan to launch our Research Seminar Series on Wednesday afternoon and on Thursday morning we hope to celebrate a recent award that we won at the School for our commitment to Gender Equality – the Athena Bronze Award. Given the challenges that we have had attending the ploughing in terms of resources etc due to the date clashing with Higher Options we would be delighted if Anna May and Anna Maria might be available on Thursday morning to join us for a photo with some members of our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) committee, perhaps around 10am / 11am. We are commitmented to Gender Equality in the Agriculture and Food Industry.

World’s 1st Mist-Sensation Shower

OMCO HIGASHINIHON INTERNATIONAL T/A AMANE HEAVENLY RAIN are delighted to launch the “World’s 1st Mist-Sensation” Shower and the “World’s 1st Shower Tab” for the first time outside Japan at the National Ploughing Championships in Ireland. Come visit our stand in THE HUB (stand 648) you’ll be amazed at the difference this innovative shower makes to any shower!

World’s 1st Mist-Sensation Shower
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New HOT TAB – kinder to you, kinder to the environment…

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Atlas Lift Trucks

We at Atlas Lift Trucks will be introducing the Everun ER2500 telescopic wheel loader which
has a capacity of 2500 kgs, a reach of 4500 mm, an 80 hp diesel engine, air disc brakes and
luxury cabin for 25,000 euro plus vat.
Also we are showing the Heli CHL All Terrain forklift which has a capacity of 3,500 kgs and
Isuzu diesel engine for 25,000 euro plus vat.
And as a contribution towards the environment, we have a ‘special offer’ of a ‘free’ Everun City
Co Co Harley electric scooter with every order received at the Exhibition.
Come and visit us at stand 203, block 1.