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'difficult decision' Ploughing Championships is cancelled due to Covid fears

"It was felt that cancelling the 1700 trade exhibitor event was the only option,” organisers said.

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Large crowds of people at the National Ploughing Championships in Carlow (Niall Carson/PA)

Large crowds of people at the National Ploughing Championships in Carlow (Niall Carson/PA)

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

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

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Large crowds of people at the National Ploughing Championships in Carlow (Niall Carson/PA)

The National Ploughing Championships, due to take place this September have been cancelled. 

In a statement today, the organisers of the event said they had made the difficult decision to cancel the 2021 Trade Exhibition following months of monitoring the Covid-19 status and taking into account the Governments updated roadmap for the next few months.

“Given the sheer scale of the Ploughing with 297,000 attendees in 2019 and the lack of clarity about what Covid-19 restrictions and regulations will look like in September for outdoor events it was felt that cancelling the 1700 trade exhibitor event was the only option.”

They said public health and safety is of paramount importance to the Association and unless the NPA were confident the Trade Exhibition could go ahead without causing any risk to exhibitors, competitors and visitors it would not be feasible.

As the timeline to start site works is imminent – the NPA just could not wait any longer to make a decision, it said.

The World Ploughing Contest due to be held in Ireland to celebrate the 90th Anniversary of the NPA attracting visitors from 30 countries was also cancelled given the extent of current International Travel Restrictions.

The NPA Managing Director Anna May McHugh said, “It’s a massive disappointment to the Association to have to cancel the trade exhibition two years in a row in particular when you consider the estimated annual economic impact of €50m that will be lost to the Irish Economy.

"We are very conscious of the loss of revenue for our exhibitors and the disappointment of patrons."

She also said they will run its National Ploughing Competitions this year, with a plan to build a programme of activities around the “Ploughing Competitions”.

The NPA have also confirmed that the event will return to Ratheniska in 2022 from 20th – 22nd September when we look forward to enjoying the Ploughing as usual.

It comes after the Tullamore Show announced earlier this week that it would not take place this year.

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