06 Oct 2022

10 things that happen at the Ploughing Championships every year

10 things that happen at the Ploughing Championships every year

Joe Canning will be surrounded by children and teenagers

There's an obsession with the weather...

In the days prior to the Ploughing, we will all be glued to the weather forecaster. Will we need sunblock and shorts or umbrellas and wellies? The answer is usually all of the above. 2019 brought glorious weather; the year before a hurricane! Come 5pm on the Tuesday, conversations turn again...'I wonder what the weather's like for tomorrow!'

There will be traffic...

From the weather to the AA Roadwatch report we go as we sit on a bypass a mile from the site for what seems like four hours. Guards are furiously waving their arms and lads in hi-viz jackets man carpark gates like secret service agents. None of it seems to make the traffic move any faster. 

The fecking ATM machine...

Every year without fail there is a constant queue fourteen miles long for the ATM machine. You'll stand there berating yourself in your head. 'How in the name of God could I forget to bring a bit of cash.' 

Joe Canning will be signing hurls...

Does Joe Canning ever get any older? He is still only in his early thirties and yet it seems they plant and grow Joe Cannings on Ploughing sites around the country. From Laois to Offaly; Carlow to Kilkenny, the Galway hurling star is everywhere, usually surrounded by hordes of kids and teenagers furiously signing hurleys. 

Marty Morrissey will be in every tent...

Like a lad looking for a party at Electric Picnic, the intrepid GAA man will hop from tent to tent at the Ploughing. He'll be in the RTE tent, of course, but you may also find him modelling on a catwalk, cooking with a celebrity chef or taking selfies with fans.

The Aldi tent will be thronged...

Whether it's the free cheese and ice-cream or the promise of a country music star making an appearance, there is something about the Aldi tent at the Ploughing. From Day 1, queues will form at the entrance and they don't die down until the Wednesday evening - no matter how many times you decide to 'walk by to check again later.' 

Farmers will protest the Minister...

The Minister for Agriculture invariably makes an appearance at the Ploughing and dutifully stands po-faced in various tents listening to the many issues affecting farmers. A few boyos will gather like schoolboys to heckle the Minister as he stands in for 'fecking photo opportunities.' 

We will gather free stuff like nobody's business...

Pens, bags, calendars, breads, keyrings, CDs - you name it. If it's going for free, we'll have it. You'd nearly want to buy a small trailer on the way out just to get it all home. Sure didn't you pay €30 on the gate - you deserve a few free bits!!

You'll get lost...

Remember the Ploughing site is like a small city and in the pure excitement and joy of getting away from normal life for a day, you end up at one corner singing Richie Kavanagh songs. You ramble over to the sheep shearing and before you know it, you don't know where you are. 'I parked the car near a blimp' - You look up to find blimps in every corner of the place. Feck!

Carpark chaos...

Carpark is a term used loosely; it would be more like a soggy field with a bit of shredded wood mulch thrown down. The mulch is for grip, of course, but on a bad day of wind and rain and Toyota Landcruisers driving all over it, it soon becomes a swampy mess. If you drive a rear-wheel-drive car to the Ploughing, you may never get home again! 

To continue reading this article,
please subscribe and support local journalism!

Subscribing will allow you access to all of our premium content and archived articles.


To continue reading this article for FREE,
please kindly register and/or log in.

Registration is absolutely 100% FREE and will help us personalise your experience on our sites. You can also sign up to our carefully curated newsletter(s) to keep up to date with your latest local news!

Register / Login

Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.

Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.