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National Ploughing Championships will reopen Thursday, adds extra Friday date

Wednesday marked the first cancellation in the 87 year history of the event.

This year’s National Ploughing Championships will continue as normal on Thursday, along with a fresh Friday date.

Organisers made the announcement on Wednesday afternoon following the first cancellation in the history of the Championships.

Day 2 of this year’s event in Screggan, Tullamore, was already subject to later opening due to the arrival of Storm Ali.

Those arriving early at the site were being advised to remain in their cars.

However, as Ali’s movements tracked slower than expected, so too did the opening times for Wednesday’s event. With the public due to be allowed on site at 11am, that was later pushed to 12pm and beyond 1pm as the morning progressed.

Eventually organisers made the announcement that the exhibition arena would be closed to the public for the day, leaving thousands who had travelled to the site without access.

“It is with deep regret that due to the adverse weather conditions caused by Storm Ali and following lengthy consultations with the Gardai, Offaly Emergency Services and Met Eireann and on their advisement it was determined that the site was unsafe to open”, said Anna May McHugh, NPA Managing Director.

“Once the winds have abated today, remedial works will continue in earnest to have the site up and operational for tomorrow’s event. The NPA would like to thank exhibitors and the general public for your patience and understanding.”

Those who had wristbands for today (Wednesday) will be allowed access on both Thursday and Friday.

Meanwhile, work continues in earnest on site to repair damage to a number of marquees and trading stands.

This is the last year for the Championships at the Screggan site. The venue for 2019, and likely 2019-2022 with a three year tenure, is due to be announced on Thursday. KCLR understands a site in the Fighting Cocks vicinity of Carlow is among the forerunners.

For more reaction from across the day, tune to KCLR’s The Way It is from 5.30pm.

Remote Working Hubs Kilkenny City & County