Are ya Ploughing?

66,250 people attended Day One of the 2023 National Ploughing Championships. Let’s take a look at highlights for Wesdnesday and Thursday. With heavy rain yesterday, the President of Ireland Michael D Higgins said, “I must say you are all surviving very well as loyal supporters of the Ploughing!” The 82 year old President pointed out […]

Top 10 Events for Culture Night in the Midlands

The theme for Culture Night / Oíche Chultúir is One Night for All-Oíche Dár Saol. Culture Night / Oíche Chultúir on Septmeber 22nd is a national moment, celebrating culture, creativity and the arts and seeks to actively promote the belief that this rich and varied culture is alive, treasured and nurtured in people’s lives, today and […]

Rothar Rogues from Durrow, Laois

“Rothar Rogues are a mens shed on wheels,” according to founding member Hughie Shepherd. ‘Mary’s Kitchen’ in Ballyragget is a meeting point and pit stop for Laois’ Rothar Rogues. Drinking tea and eating cake is certainly an important part of the daily routine for it’s members. Hughie tells me with a laugh, they are a […]

Local Enterprise Village showcases Midlands Companies at the Ploughing Championships

Spotlight on Four Midlands Businesses at the Local Enterprise Village Year on year, the Local Enterprise Village proves to be one of the most popular destinations for visitors to the Ploughing Championships.  This year, over 30 small businesses from across the country will get an opportunity to sell and promote themselves to crowds of almost 300,000 […]

National Ploughing Championships, the Statistics

The National Ploughing Championships has grown to be Europe’s largest outdoor agricultural trade expo, with approximately 300,000 attendees over three days. We are taking a look at the statistics behind the larger than life event which runs next week from September 19th to 21st. From 25 to 1,700 stands “There were 25 stands at that […]

May the force be with Anna May McHugh

As I approach the IPA (Irish Ploughing Association) Headquarters in Ballylinan, County Laois, I realise I am not entering an office but a home. Anna May’ McHugh’s house is of course the home of the Ploughing, only a few kilometres from Ratheniska where the Championships take place. There are scores of people upstairs and down, […]

Dream comes true for Stradbally singer

“It’s a dream come true to be able to play at one of Ireland’s biggest music festivals” (‘Just Alice’ winner of Electric Youth) Stradbally singer Alice Laffan (Just Alice) has just won the Electric Youth Competition and will now perform on the Hazelwood Stage at the Electric Picnic this weekend. With great excitement she said, […]

The new Portlaoise Library

Aoife Moore, librarian, walks with a spring in her step as she shows me around the stunning new Portlaoise Library. The brightness and vast space are the first things that catch your eye. The high walls and open plan of the building create an atmosphere ideal for calm and concentration. The front lobby offers a […]

Behind the Scenes at the Electric Picnic

“It’s turned into a great big monster now at this stage.” (Tom Cosby, Stradbally Hall) As I drive towards Stradbally Hall to meet owner Thomas Cosby, I take note of the tranquil surroundings just before the 19th Electric Picnic begins. There is already a lot of activity on the ground, with barriers going up, stages […]

Carrigmeal is Laois’ Tir na nÓg

New Outdoor Classroom There’s a reason why the looped walk in Carrigmeal in County Laois is called Tir nÓg. Named after the land of eternal youth, landowner James Deegan has dedicated 70 acres of his land to his beloved children and grandchildren. Next month when the schools reopen, a beautiful outdoor wooded classroom will be […]