There is widespread disappointment following the news that the National Ploughing Championships, due to take place this September have been cancelled.
Hundreds of people from across Donegal make the annual trip to the championships which was due to take place in Fenagh, Co Carlow this year.
As well as attending the show, many Donegal exhibitors unveil their products at the event.
However, the organisers of the event said they had made the difficult decision to cancel the 2021 Trade Exhibition following months of monitoring the Covid-19 status and taking into account the Governments updated roadmap for the next few months.
“Given the sheer scale of the Ploughing with 297,000 attendees in 2019 and the lack of clarity about what Covid-19 restrictions and regulations will look like in September for outdoor events it was felt that cancelling the 1700 trade exhibitor event was the only option.”
They said public health and safety is of paramount importance to the Association and unless the NPA were confident the Trade Exhibition could go ahead without causing any risk to exhibitors, competitors and visitors it would not be feasible.
As the timeline to start site works is imminent – the NPA just could not wait any longer to make a decision, it said.
The World Ploughing Contest due to be held in Ireland to celebrate the 90th Anniversary of the NPA attracting visitors from 30 countries was also cancelled given the extent of current International Travel Restrictions.
The NPA Managing Director Anna May McHugh said, “It’s a massive disappointment to the Association to have to cancel the trade exhibition two years in a row in particular when you consider the estimated annual economic impact of €50m that will be lost to the Irish Economy. We are very conscious of the loss of revenue for our exhibitors and the disappointment of patrons.”
She also said they will run its National Ploughing Competitions this year, with a plan to build a programme of activities around the “Ploughing Competitions”.