Plowing Championships 2022: Everything you need to know

Around 300,000 people from over 25 different countries will take part in the national plowing championships and as showers are forecast umbrellas and wellies may be needed.

From machine demonstrations to whole grain bread baking, the three-day event will also be the setting for fashion shows and hundreds of plowmen and women competing for coveted titles.

The Plowing takes place in Ratheniska, Laois from 20th to 22nd September and Ireland will also be hosting the World Plowing Competition for the first time this year.

The competition, in its 67th year, will bring together competitors from countries around the world including Uganda, Germany, India, Poland, Ghana, Belgium and New Zealand to compete to become world plowing champions.

At its recent official launch, founder and CEO Anna May McHugh said it took two months to complete the site.

“In July it was just a bare field and to see it now is amazing.

“The Championships not only provide a national stage to showcase all the great things of Ireland, but also bring together people from all walks of Irish society, from rural to urban areas, for a three-day immersion in life in the country.”

Patchy rain or drizzle is forecast by Met Eireann for Tuesday and further bands of rain and showers with intervening dry spells from Wednesday.

It’s supposed to be fresh with southwesterly winds and maximum temperatures of 14 to 17 degrees Celsius.


Tickets can be purchased online in advance at the National Plowing Championship website, which can be printed out or viewed on your phone at the entry points.

Tickets for adults cost 25 euros, senior tickets 20 euros and student tickets 20 euros. Tickets for college students are €25, family tickets for two adults and two secondary school students are €80 and children under 12 are free.

With the exception of assistance dogs, no dogs are allowed on the premises.

Three gastronomy blocks with over 40 individual gastronomy stands are available on site for catering. There will also be catering units in each car park that will be open to early arrivals.

When does it start?

The site is open from 9am to 6pm and the plowing competitions are from 10.30am to 2.30pm.

The National Brown Bread Baking semi-finals take place on Tuesday and Wednesday at 9:30 a.m., with the final taking place on Thursday at 9:30 a.m. The overall winner will be announced at 2:30 p.m. that day.

A range of entertainment events take place each day, including sheep shearing demonstrations, threshing, machine demonstrations, and craft and cooking demonstrations.

Companies “from every county in Ireland” will exhibit at the Local Enterprise Village, according to the NPA, and Enterprise Ireland will also have an “Innovation Arena” which will include the finalists for this year’s Innovation Awards and the 2020/21 winners.

shuttle buses

A shuttle bus service is operated by Bus Eireann from Portlaoise, Portarlington and Athy train stations to the Purple Car Park. The times of this service depend on the train times. The drop off and pick up point is near the entrance gates to the Purple Car Park along the R427.

parking spot

Parking is free and a number of lots are located near the Trade Arena. Upon arrival you will be directed to the nearest available parking space and the parking attendants will direct you to a parking space.

Can I exit and re-enter the event during the day?

You must have your hand stamped upon departure to be let back in free of charge.

How to get to Plowing from Cork/Munster

BLUE ROUTE: Traffic traveling northbound on the M8 exits at Junction 4 (Johnstown, Urlingford) and continues on the R439 (old N8) where it enters Durrow Co. Laois. From Durrow traffic continues on the N77 (old N8) to Abbeyleix and from there turns right onto the R425 to the village of Ballyroan. Traffic will then continue to Cashel Cross and turn right onto the R427.

How to get from Dublin/ Leinster/ North to Plowing?

PURPLE ROUTE: Traffic traveling southbound on the M7 exits at Junction 15 Cappakeel, Co. Laois and turns left onto the L3930 where it heads into Vicarstown. At Vicarstown it turns right onto the R427 leading to Stradbally Co. Laois. At Stradbally traffic turns right onto the N80 and then left onto the R427.

How to get to Plowing from Limerick/Kerry/South West

BROWN ROUTE: Traffic traveling northbound on the M7 exits at Junction 17 Togher, Portlaoise and turns left onto the N77 towards Portlaoise Town. Traffic diverts right onto the L6310 at Meelick where it turns right onto the R426. At Sheffield Junction traffic turns right again and continues onto Money Cross.

Traffic traveling northbound on the R445 (old N7) will be diverted back onto the M7 motorway at Junction 18 where it will join the rest of Limerick/Kerry/South West traffic to park.

How to reach Plowing from the west/northwest

GREEN ROUTE: Traffic coming from the west on the N80 goes to Mountmellick Town. As you approach city traffic, turn left onto the L20972, continue on this road and turn right onto the L423.

Traffic will merge onto the R422 and continue to Kennels Cross, Emo, Co. Laois where it will turn right onto the R419 and continue onto the R445 (Old Dublin Rd), turn right and continue towards Kilminchy, Portlaoise. There she turns left and then right at Rathbrennan onto the R425. At Bloomfield Cross traffic turns left onto the N80 and continues to Dysart where it turns right onto a one-way system along the L6772 to the village of Ratheniska.

How to get to Plowing from South East/ Carlow

YELLOW ROUTE: Traffic from Carlow and South East will take the Simmons Mill Cross Roads on the N80 and continue towards the town of Stradbally via the Windy Gap. At Court Square, Stradbally, traffic turns left onto the L3837 (Timahoe Rd) and proceeds onto Timogue Cross Roads where it turns right onto the L7835 (one way).

Approaching Plowing from the South East (Kilkenny)

GRAY ROUTE: Traffic coming from Kilkenny/South East along the N78 turns left at the Newtown Crossroads and continues along the R430 to The Swan. Just before The Swan Village traffic turns right onto the R426 and continues to Timahoe Village.

In Timahoe, traffic is diverted to two routes depending on volume:

1. Traffic will be diverted onto the L3838 (Stradbally Rd) towards Timogue Cross and left onto the L7835 where it becomes the ‘YELLOW route’ (South East Carlow Traffic).

2. Traffic continues through the village of Timahoe on the R426 towards Money Cross. At Loughteague Lane traffic turns right onto the L78354.

What are the regulations for barrier-free access?

Disabled parking spaces are available in special parking lots for the event. The official government-issued Disabled Parking Permit must be prominently displayed on the vehicle’s front window when entering the premises

All internal roads throughout the Trade Arena are double track and disabled toilets are available in each block and disabled parking space. Plowing Championships 2022: Everything you need to know

Fry Electronics Team

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