Weather warnings in place as Ploughing Championships get underway

Thousands of people are expected to brave the elements for the first day of the National Ploughing Championships on Tuesday.

The annual, three-day event will see people from all corners of the country make their way to Ratheniska, Co Laois.

The site is made up of 1,700 exhibits, with anything from machinery to makeup on display, along with agricultural talks and classes, musical performances and multiple fashion shows.

This year attendees can access a free interactive guide with their smartphones and then self-guide around the venue with GPS.

The event is taking place amid weather alerts from Met Éireann, although Co Laois may escape the worst of the conditions.

Met Eireann is forecasting the potential for heavy rain in parts of the country as well as strong winds.

The first of the warnings, a status yellow rain alert, took effect from midnight and will be in place for the western half of the country until the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Met Éireann said Clare, Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Tipperary, Donegal and Connacht can expect heavy and persistent showers.

A number of similar wind alerts will also be in place between Tuesday and Wednesday evening.

The first will run in west Galway and Kerry from 5pm on Tuesday.

Then in the early hours of Wednesday morning there will be a similar warning for Cork, Waterford, Wexford and Wicklow, as well as Donegal and Mayo.