THE ORGANISERS OF the National Ploughing Championships have announced that this year’s event has been cancelled.
Anna Marie McHugh of National Ploughing confirmed the news on Today With Sean O’Rourke this morning.
The 89th championships were due to take place in Carlow from 15-17 September, but have been postponed until next year instead.
“In the interest of public health and safety it just wasn’t an option,” McHugh said.
“The writing was on the wall for us… there is nothing that [Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan] is saying that would make us think we had any other option.
“When you think of the Leaving Cert being in question and the GAA in question, and all of those things, the association would never be able to live with the risk that we had brought a second wave of the disease in to Carlow and into the region.
“That is not something that we would want to be responsible for.”
It is the second time in three years that the annual event has been disrupted.
The second day of the 2018 championships were cancelled after Storm Ali damaged much of the site in Co Offaly, leading organisers to add an extra day to the event.
Commenting on the cancellation of this year’s championships, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar told Pat Kenny on Newstalk: “It’s a pity but not unexpected.”