Ploughing championships resume after Storm Ali closure

The National Ploughing Championships resumed this morning in Tullamore after being closed to the public yesterday over damage caused by Storm Ali.

Work wasongoing throughthe night to repair the damage to tents, exhibitions and other infrastructure on the site. The event openedto the public at9am.

It will also be opened for an extra day tomorrow.

Storm Ali brought gusts of almost 100km/h to the site of the National Ploughing Championships at Screggan outside Tullamore yesterday and wrecked more havoc on the three-day event than any other weather shock in its 87-yearhistory.

It was the first time that the ploughing had to be cancelled and the public turned away in the middle of its run.

There was a lot of frustration among exhibitors and the visiting public at the length of time it took for the organisers to make the final decision to call off proceedings when it became clear that the strength, length, and the damage caused by the storm had exceeded expectations.

Many tents suffered serious and irreparable damage. However, the vast majority suffered only minor damage and disruption, or no damage at all.

Exhibitors also workedthroughthe night with local services and teams from the National Ploughing Association to repair the damage and get the site ready for this morning.

All pre-sold tickets for yesterday at the Ploughing will be valid for entry both today and tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the Managing Director of the National Ploughing Association has defended the decision not to cancel yesterday's event before people made the trip to Offaly.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Anna Maria McHugh said that intensive discussions continued throughout yesterday and it had been agreed with services and after discussions with Met Éireann that "we were within workable wind speeds".

She said the the issue was that the storm winds "were more prolonged and that wasn't expected".

Hundreds of the 1,700 exhibitors onsite suffered damage to their displays, she said.

Read more news of Dublin on our site.

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Storm Ali closure
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