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Ploughing Championships set to resume today after storm closure

The National Ploughing Championships will re-open this morning after it was called off yesterday.

Some stands will be closed after being badly damaged by Storm Ali.

Organisers of the National Ploughing Championships say it will be business as usual at the Screggan site in Co Offaly from 9am.

They say the site is safe and secure after people worked late into the night.

Some of the 1,700 stands though will remain closed after being badly damaged by high winds.

Managing Director Anna Marie McHugh defended their decision not to make a call on cancelling yesterday's leg of the event on Tuesday.

"We all agreed on Tuesday that we were good to go at 11am. It was across the board, there was no dissenting," she said.

"The Met [Éireann] office did get it right and got it exactly right but what happened was it prolonged, that's where we went wrong.

"Yesterday evening here was fine, it was a lovely evening. When the wind direction changed, which is what it naturally does in the morning, the second blast of wind had a much stronger effect here.

[quote]Storms in the Midlands at this level are very rare.[/quote]

Today's highlights include the finals of the national brown bread competition to find out who bakes the best brown bread in Ireland.

The teams will also be chosen today to represent Ireland in the European and World Ploughing Championships.

Exhibitors will be hoping for a successful day after yesterday’s cancellation.

People are also being reminded that the Ploughing has been extended for an extra day and will also open on Friday.

Weather for the Midlands is set to be dry and bright for the morning but heavy rain is due later on.

Digital Desk