Screggan site in 'outstanding' shape for three-day National Ploughing Championships
16th September 2018
THE site at Screggan where the National Ploughing Championships is to be held for the third year in succession has been described as “outstanding” by the Chairman of the Offaly Ploughing Association, Brian Mahon.
The Killoughey native and multiple award winning ploughman, speaking at the launch of the championships last Wednesday morning, extended deep gratitude to all the landowners who had made the site and the associated car parking areas available for the championships.
Mr Mahon also thanked the residents of the wider Screggan and Mucklagh areas for their co-operation, particularly during the actual week of the Ploughing Championships.
“This really is an outstanding event to have in the local area . . . it has really put Screggan on the map,” he stressed.
The Offaly Ploughing Association chief praised his members and volunteers for their work on site over the past number as weeks as well as the contribution of the Gardai and Offaly County Council.
And he warned locals to pay heed to the comprehensive traffic plan which has been put in place by the Gardai for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of next week, September 18 to 20.
Mr Mahon warned that because everything had ran so smoothly traffic wise in the last two years that Screggan had hosted the event there may be a level of complacency setting in.
His comments were echoed by Chief Superintendent, John Scanlon who has co-ordinated the traffic plan for the event.
National Ploughing Association Chairman Denis Keohane said it was a “small miracle” to see the way the site in Screggan had recovered from the 2017 event.
The Ploughing Championships not only provides a national stage to showcase all that is great about Ireland, but also internationally, said the CEO of the National Ploughing Association, Anna May McHugh.
She stressed it was fantastic to see the phenomenal global interest in the event with countries such as Australia, France, USA, Denmark, UK, Netherlands, New Zealand, Hungary, Uganda, Czech Republic, Germany, Canada and Belgium attending.
“With 291,500 visitors attending last year and over 1,700 stands the Ploughing Championships is one of the market leading Agriculture Trade Fairs worldwide,” outlined the ploughing chief.
For Machinery addicts, the NPC trade arena goes unrivalled. All the top brands will be showcasing the latest makes and models on the market. Today guests along with some of Ireland’s top models took the opportunity to inspect the site and try out some of the tractors/machinery on site.
There will be an array of new exhibitors as well as hundreds of outstanding veteran companies showcasing their products and services in dynamic ways.
The very latest models in agricultural machinery and cutting edge technology will be on display in the Innovation Arena, quality livestock, a Motor Show, a Forestry Village, Food Trail, an International Business Pavilion, Fashion and a Local Enterprise Village with every county in Ireland represented, National Baking Competitions, Craft Shows, Cookery Demonstrations and many topical seminars.
Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, is the new sponsor of the popular Best Dressed ‘Country Style’ ladies competition on Wednesday, September 19.
An extended Trade Arena will see the return of the popular Tented Retail Village with demand necessitating the return of the “Dome” the biggest Arcade ever, with over 100 exhibitors displaying in the one arena plus hundreds more located in specialist Pavilions.
The National Ploughing Championships taking place from September 18 to 20 in Screggan, and more details are available www.facebook.com/nationalploughingchampionships or www.twitter.com/@NPAIE #Ploughing18.
See special 12 page supplement on championships with this week's Tribune.