A government department recently approached the National Plowing Association (NPA) over the possibility of accommodating Ukrainian refugees on the Plowing 2023 site in Ratheniska, Co. Laois.
speaking to Agriland at the launch of the 2023 National Plowing Championships, which took place today (Tuesday, September 5) – NPA assisting managing director Anna Maire McHugh confirmed that the government had broached the subject with the association.
She said: “I had a very brief conversation with a representative from a department, just asking me about the plowing site, was it an option.
“And I told them, the infrastructure of the plowing, I can’t see how it would work because the marquees here are all commercial marquees, they’re coming down immediately after the event. We don’t have a campsite set up.
“And the farm goes back to being a working farm. There will be animals out in the fields very shortly afterwards. I explained that to (the representative) and he didn’t ask any further,” McHugh added.
The NPA assisting managing director said that she had raised the possibility of the government having a stand at the plowing in order to meet people who may be able to assist in the accommodation of refugees.
“I did suggest that maybe if they wanted to have a stand at the ploughing, we’d facilitate that, if they wanted to meet people and find out about other venues around the country,” she said.
According to McHugh, that’s the matter wasn’t raised further with the NPA.
Preparation is well underway at the site in Ratheniska, with Plowing 2023 set to start just two weeks from today. This years championships take place from September 19-21.
Speaking at the launch, Anna May McHugh, managing director of the National Plowing Association (NPA) said: “Preparations are well underway as this green field in the middle of Ireland transforms into a bustling hub for the National Plowing Championships.
“The event not only provides a national stage to showcase all things that are great about Ireland but also brings together people from all sectors of Irish society both rural and urban, to enjoy three days immersed in country living.”
Again, Agriland Media is the live-streaming partner for the National Plowing Championships 2023, and will be broadcasting from site at Ratheniska throughout the three days.
Today’s launch heard from European Commissioner Mairead McGuinness, local county councilors, the local bishop, and garda chief superintendent for Laois and Offaly Anthony Lonergan, who outlined the efforts gardaí will be making to ensure the event runs safely.