A total of 66,250 people attended day one of the National Ploughing Championships on Tuesday in Ratheniska, Co Laois.

The figure is down just over 25,000 on day one of the 2022 event, with Tuesday’s wet weather affecting visitor numbers.

Young Hannah Hurley enjoys her ice cream despite the weather with her father Mark at the National Ploughing Championships in Ratheniska. \ Donal O' Leary

Despite the rain and the early start for many, spirits were high on the day.

A range of ministers and dignitaries attended on Tuesday, including President Michael D Higgins.

President Michael D Higgins visiting the under 40 plough class plots.\ Claire Nash

In his speech, President Higgins noted that Irish farming has a succession problem and stated that young farmers may question the security of the profession.

Also in attendance on Tuesday was the leader of the opposition, Sinn Féin leader Deputy Mary Lou McDonald. She said that her party needs to work very, very hard to secure farmer support in the next general election.

Con Dowling and Ciaran Dowling from Stradbally, Laois. \ Philip Doyle

National Ploughing Association (NPA) managing director Anna May McHugh said the weather resulted in it being a challenging day for organisers.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank patrons for their patience and support - it was much appreciated.

“With much better weather due for tomorrow [Wednesday], we eagerly anticipate all that day two has to offer.”

Donnchadh, Kathleen and John O’Halloran, from Galbally, Limerick. \ Philip Doyle

Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue speaks to the media at Ploughing 2023. \ Claire Nash

Competitors at Ploughing 2023. \ Claire Nash

The Irish Farmers Journal team taking part in a Farm Tech Talk special on the Irish Farmers Journal stand at Ploughing 2023. \ Claire Nash

Neven Maguire cooking up a storm in the kitchen. \ Claire Nash

Wellies were the order of the day on the first day of Ploughing 2023. \ Claire Nash

Thousands flocked to Ratheniska for day one. \ Philip Doyle

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