National Ploughing generates E36million to Irish economy

The National Ploughing Championships generates an Economic Impact of €E36 million per annum according to a study carried out at the 2011 Championships by UCD.

The National Ploughing Championships generates an Economic Impact of €E36 million per annum according to a study carried out at the 2011 Championships by UCD.

Results of the Economic Impact Study were revealed earlier today at the annual general meeting of the National Ploughing Association.

Key findings included:

Visitors to the Championships spent just under €E36.5 million during the three days of the event. This spending resulted in a tax take of over €6.6 million for the National Exchequer.

80% of attendees at the event are not local.

Age profile is 37% female, 63% male.

Machinery is the main attraction in the trade exhibition.

Personal shopping accounted for over €7 million.

Trade purchases were in excess of €9.6 million.

Hotels, B&B’s, Public Houses, Food Outlets and Service Stations in the area, all stated that they experienced a dramatic increase in trade due to the championships.

Speaking at the AGM, Managing Director Anna May McHugh said: “This report highlights huge economic positives that the event brings to the local community. The Association would have been aware that based on average annual attendances of 180,000 people, the spin off for local hospitality industry must be significant but we had no idea to what extent until now. This report highlights and confirms the positive impact the event has on the locality not only from a commercial perspective but also from a rural and social perspective”.

The National Ploughing Association (NPA) also launched the 2012 Trade Exhibition Pack at the AGM confirming that early indications of exhibitor interest are above previous years. In addition to last year’s exhibitors, hundreds of new enquiries have been received for this year’s Championships in Heathpark, New Ross, Co. Wexford from 25th – 27th September.

Enquires regarding exhibiting at this year’s event should contact the NPA at 059-86-25125 or email info@npa.ie Accommodation enquiries contact New Ross Tourist Information Office on 051-421857 or Experience New Ross at 087-3630540.

The AGM of the National Ploughing Association took place in the Manor Hotel, Abbeyleix, Co. Laois, there were no officership changes and no new directors up for election.

This year’s Championships will be held at Heathpark, New Ross, Co. Wexford from Tuesday, September 25, to Thursday, September 27. In total, over 700 acres of land will be needed to for the occasion. The event will not only cater for all sectors of agricultural and rural life, but features something for just about every member of the community.

The first inter- county ploughing contest took place in 1931 as a result of an argument between two lifelong friends, Denis Allen of Gorey of County Wexford and JJ Bergin of Athy, County Kildare. Each argued that their respective counties had the best ploughmen. This resulted in the first National Ploughing contest taking place on Monday, February 16,1931 at Coursetown in Athy. Since then, the National Ploughing Championships has grown in size, year on year. It has expanded from requiring a small field of 26 acres to needing over 700 acres of land today. Within this, the site now requires 220 acres for ploughing, 80 acres for trade stands and exhibition space, 400 acres of car parking and a demonstration area of approximately 25 acres.