Morning Focus Tuesday September 20

Morning Focus broadcast live from the National Ploughing Championships, Athy, County Kildare on Tuesday morning

The Ploughing Championships are described as the single biggest outdoor agricultural event in rural Ireland – and possibly the biggest in Europe each year as hundreds of thousands of people turn out to attend the Festival of Farming that has become so much more over the years

This year organisers are expecting over 180,000 visitors over the next three days to see 1,000 exhibitors covering more than 700 acres her at the site in Cardenton and Coursetown near Athy in County Kildare


To find out more about the significance of this years 80th anniversary of the National Ploughing Championships – and about the huge effort involved in staging the event – John Cooke had a word with the Managing Director and Secretary of the National Ploughing Association Anna May McHugh

She’s involved with National Ploughing Championships 60 years this year

The annual National Ploughing Championships is the single biggest outdoor agricultural event in Ireland and possibly Europe
Attracting on average 180,000 visitors over the three days and covering 700 acres
There are two main aspects to the event:
• Tented Trade Village
• The National Ploughing Finals 
300 Irish competitors and others from visiting countries compete to win national titles and qualify for World, European and other International Championships

Feature events include:
17 ploughing Championships, Hunt Chase, Cookery demonstrations, Sheep Shearing, Vintage Machinery, Threshing, Live music, food fair, fashion shows, ICA seminars and workshops, sheep dog trials, horse ploughing, craft village and dancing board

John was also joined in the Clare FM broadcast unit by Newmarket on Fergus man John Meehan, a Director with the National Ploughing Association who was working on the day and had details of all of the participants from Clare 

Eddie Punch, ICSA General Secretary and Cratloe farmer discussed agricultural issues and
PJ Ryan of Sixmilebridge is PRO The Clare Ploughing Association who are celebrating their 50th anniversary this year

Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney spoke with Clare FM’s Gavin Grace about the 80th Anniversary of the National Ploughing Championships and call for a part time agricultural offices to be open in Ennis

Brigid Walshe, Clare Development Officer with Macra ne Feirme and Teresa O’Leary who just set up new Sixmilebridge Club joined John to encourage people to join the group

Clare FM’s Maire Moynahan was out and about and met John Jo Donnellan and his son Barry from East Clare who were ploughing in the horse ploughing category

Noel Fitzgerald of Sixmilebridge and Clare County Secretary of the Ploughing Association
and Martin McMahon, Clare Chairperson ICSMA popped in for a chat

Seamus Hennessey, ploughing championships reporter had a word about the championships this year and we met some Clare students from the Cistercian College in Roscrea at the ploughing for the day. 

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