The 2020 National Ploughing Championships has been cancelled, NPA assistant managing director Anna Marie McHugh has said.

The Ploughing is worth €35m to the economy every year, according to the NPA. This year's event was due to return to Ballintrane, Fenagh, Co Carlow, from 15 to 17 September.

In a statement, managing director Anna May McHugh said: "The executive reached this very difficult decision to cancel the trade exhibition as public health and safety is our foremost priority given the current global pandemic.

"With visitor attendance last year of 297,000 and up to 1,700 exhibitors, we had too many concerns about how we could implement social distancing and the potential risk of bringing together people from all over the country."

The NPA hopes to run the actual ploughing behind closed gates.


A statement from the NPA said "credit notes will be issued to exhibitors over the next couple of weeks. If you have made a payment to the NPA please forward via email your account details, on receipt of same a full refund will be made. Should you have any further queries please do not hesitate to contact NPA at or".

The event attracted more than 297,000 people last year.

Best interest

Last month, the Government announced that events requiring licences in excess of 5,000 people “will not be considered” up to the end of August. This sparked questions as to whether the Ploughing could go ahead.

At the time McHugh told the Irish Farmers Journal that the NPA would act "act in the best interest of the country if and when the time comes that a decision has to be made about Ploughing 2020".

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