PLOUGHING UPDATE: Record numbers flock to Championship as congestion on Kilkenny roads eases
By COLIN BARTLEY
AN all-time record number of visitors attended Day 2 of the National Ploughing Championship, with 116,000 passing through the gates.
And with temperatures set to hit up to 24 degrees on site today, record crowds are still flocking to the county Carlow site to take in the last hours of one of the most successful ploughing championships ever.
Organisers believe a grand total of over 300,000, a record total, will have visited Ploughing19 by the time the gates shut on the event this evening and a 25% increase on the 2018 figures.
An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is expected at the site later today. He should arrive on time as the traffic seems to be flowing smoothly today, with no major issues reported on Kilkenny roads.
Organisers say there are two reasons for that. Firstly the crowds, while still unprecedented, are down on the numbers of yesterday-which they say is to be expected. And secondly, the organisers opened the gates of both the event site and the car parks earlier today, easing the congestion.
The hugely successful Park&Ride facility from Braun in Carlow shut shortly after 11am due to over-capacity. Organisers having to close it down as they would not have enough buses for the return journey.
Despite the fun and great atmosphere at the event, gardai are reminding people to be aware of opportunist pickpockets and urge people to be aware of their personal belongings and how they are carrying them.
Gardai reiterated a call made yesterday saying teens will be removed from the site as they continue their ‘zero-tolerance’ approach to under-age drinking.
Unfortunately for the gardai, they could not control nature yet again today. Yesterday, a low Sun in the sky was the enemy and was the cause of a few minor incidents, this morning it was the fog causing problems and a few bumps.