Ryans keeps Ireland’s Ploughing Championships clean for quarter of a million punters



Keeping this week’s National Ploughing Championships clean as record crowds converged on Ratheniska posed a considerable challenge, but Ryans Cleaning rose to the occasion, keeping Ireland’s premier agricultural show in great condition for over a quarter of a million attendees.

This year’s exhibition concluded yesterday with 73,000 turning out, bringing the overall attendance to 279,500, up more than 50,000 on last year’s total. Wednesday, the mid-point of the show and traditionally the busiest day, attracted a staggering 124,000 people compared to 90,000 for the same day last year.

The good weather attracted the bumper crowds, while improved traffic management enabled easier access to the more than 700 acres of show grounds. Sinéad Cleary, the supervising manager of the company’s operations at the Championships, says it was the busiest show she’d seen.  “From the first minute, everything was all go. We quickly realised that this year’s show was going to be much, much busier than it was last year”, she said.

Ryans Cleaning has been the official cleaning provider for the National Ploughing Championships, one of Europe’s largest outdoor farming events, for more than 10 years. The crowds at this year’s show were evenly distributed around the area at almost all times, making it difficult to identity and single out particularly busy or litter-prone zones. “The crowds were unprecedented, so we had to think our feet and quickly adapt to constantly changing circumstances,” Sinéad adds, “We had limiting lighting after around 9:30 at night, when it became too dark, which means we couldn’t work around the clock and had to prioritise certain areas.”

Sinéad and her team made sure the main thoroughfares were clean and ready for the next day each night, while they arrived early the next morning to clear the rest of the grounds. “It was very difficult, but I think we were able to put our staff to work in the most efficient way given the challenges. We’re used to dealing with dynamic situations” she said.

The Ploughing Championships, first held in 1931 in a 26 acre field, has expanded to become one of Ireland’s major national events and one of the largest outdoor farming events in Europe. The show is now held on over 700 acres, attracting around 1,400 exhibitors and in more than 200,000 attendees annually.

Named by the National Geographic’s travel website as one the “Top Ten Things to do in Ireland and Northern Ireland” this autumn, the Ploughing Championships feature agricultural competitions and exhibitions involving Irish food, personal shopping and the newest technological farming innovations.

Ryans Cleaning employs more than 70 people full-time and 1,000+ part-time and seasonal staff serving the requirements of fixed venues, international events, tradeshows and exhibitions as well as commercial, office and industrial cleaning premises in the UK and Ireland.