An East Galway TD has this week called for a concerted effort to ensure the National Ploughing Championships are held in Athenry in the near future.
Minister for the Diaspora and International Development Ciaran Cannon is calling on local stakeholders and public representatives to work to bring 'the Ploughing' back to the town for the first time in some 56 years. The Athenry native said this was a particularly opportune time to do so given the opening of the new BIA Innovator food campus just outside the town next year.
Minister Cannon said that such a move would complement the investment that Athenry has been guaranteed under this year's tranche of the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund, which aims to develop the food and tourism offering of the town.
“Last year I expressed the hope that the National Ploughing Championships would be held in the near future in Athenry, and given that the BIA Innovator Campus is due to open its doors next year, I believe that there should be a concerted effort by all stakeholders and public representatives to make this happen in the next few years," he added.
“Galway is no stranger to the Ploughing Championships, with Athenry the venue back in 1963, but things have moved on considerably since then, both in terms of local infrastructure and technology in the agricultural sector, and the town could easily cater for the numbers that the championships would bring.
“It would also be a major boost for the local business, hospitality, and tourism sectors.”