The National Ploughing Association (NPA) will decide by the end of this week whether or not the 2021 Ploughing Championships will go ahead in September.

Speaking to the Irish Farmers Journal Anna Maria McHugh, assistant managing director of the NPA, said that the association's executive is working through all scenarios at the moment.

“By the end of the week we’ll have a decision on whether it will go ahead,” she said.

McHugh said she was disappointed by comments made by the Minister for Tourism, Catherine Martin, on RTÉ’s Drivetime on Monday evening, where she said the Ploughing Championships didn’t fall under her remit.

The Minister said: “I oversee music, arts and culture and the sport, the Ploughing Championships wouldn’t be something in my remit, but it’s a massive occasion in the calendar for our rural communities.

“It would be wrong for me to indicate now yes or no to the Ploughing Championships because it’s too far away."


McHugh responded by saying: “We’re disappointed that the Minister for Tourism said that the biggest event in Ireland doesn’t fall under her remit.

“We fill every bed, promote the host county and so many departments and State bodies are involved. To think that it wouldn’t fall under her remit is a huge disappointment.”

McHugh said that she was in touch with the Minister’s office in March, asking that the NPA be considered for a seat on the Minister's taskforce on events recovery to represent rural Ireland.

A response from the Minister’s office came back and “they didn’t even consider the application”, McHugh said.