Friday 21 October 2016

Grassroots diary: Revving up a storm for a good cause

Claire Mc Cormack

Published 27/07/2016 | 02:30

Children from Caisléan Óir play school at the Glinsk Vintage Run
Children from Caisléan Óir play school at the Glinsk Vintage Run

Vintage engines revved with delight in Glinsk, Co Galway as the small but mighty local community raised almost €40,000 for local worthy causes.

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Locals turned out in thousands to enjoy the colourful display of tractor, lorry and truck drivers from across the country as they weaved their way through Williamstown, Kilnalag, Cashel Cross, Glenamaddy, Creggs and back to the small rural village located in River Suck valley.

Almost 90 trucks and 80 tractors participated. A special "more leisurely" route was organised for veteran vintage entrants though Corgarve, Sonnagh, Moate and Keelogues and returning to Glinsk. All participating vehicles were supplied with sponsorship cards.

Children from the Caislean Oir play school brought along their own toy tractors to join in the fun. Drivers including Amanda O'Hara also demonstrated impressive motoring skills.

Glinsk native Michael Fitzmaurice, Independent TD for Roscommon-Galway, acted as auctioneer for the day. He praised the local community for their dedication to the event which he described as a "rip-roaring success". "We made over €38,000 on the day and more donations are still coming it. It's a great testament to the power of community, they all came together for a great cause and they should all be very proud of themselves," he said.

"I signed the golden hammer I was using for the auction and attendee Ambrose Cuddy bought it for €1,050.

"The butcher's coat I wore for auctioneering went for €350 and I sold concrete for €400, we'd a drone and all on display. I couldn't believe it, that will tell you the goodness in people out there and they need to be commended, it was some community effort for one day," he said.

Marty Ward, event organiser, also said the charity fun day was a terrific success. "It was a local worthy cause that the people really got behind.

"I'd say we're edging closer to the €40,000 mark at this stage, all the grounds were packed with people.I'd say there were up to 2,000 spectators there at the height of the show, they came from all over counties Roscommon and Galway," he said.

Vintage show fever also heated up in other parts of the country at the weekend with the Coolmoyne and Moyglass Vintage Club run in Co Tipperary, the annual Askamore vintage club car and tractor run in Gorey, Co Wexford and Ballincollig and District vintage and classic car show in Cork.

The beneficiary for the latter event was Oglaigh Naisiunta na hEireann - a national support organisation for ex-service men and women of the Irish Defence Services.

Macra social calendars

Macra na Feirme clubs may be taking a summer hiatus from competitions but club social calendars remain in full swing.

Last weekend, Dublin Macra’s Hill 16 crew headed to Westport, Mayo, where they hopped on their bikes and cycled 18km along the Great Western Greenway from Newport to Mulranny.

Lorraine Maguire,  Hill 16 chairperson, said members had “a blast”.  “Around 13 of us went and it was brilliant craic, the sun was shining and everyone was in great form. The Greenway was class, we were blown away by the sights along the way. We had a great night out and a couple of the lads even conquered Croagh Patrick the next morning,” she said.

Members from Shannonside Macra were also in the pretty town along the south-east corner of Clew Bay for the weekend.

Other upcoming club social events include: Maudabawn Macra annual ‘Shindig In The House’ event at Gallonray House, Cootehill, Co Cavan on Saturday, July 30, with lively Donegal band ‘Tenth Avenue’ set to perform.

Meanwhile this Sunday, Inthru Macra na Feirme will hold a tractor pulling competition at the Glencolmcille Agricultural Show in Donegal. Teams will pull Massey Ferguson 35’s as fast as they can over a distance of 50 metres.

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