Wednesday 28 September 2016

Grassroots diary: Silage fever heats up but tractor show must go on

Claire McCormack

Published 15/06/2016 | 02:30

Ultan and Ann Mc Grane Navan at Skryne Tractor Run in Co Meath for the Meath River Rescue Service. Photo: Seamus Farrelly
Ultan and Ann Mc Grane Navan at Skryne Tractor Run in Co Meath for the Meath River Rescue Service. Photo: Seamus Farrelly

The long lasting spell of sunshine across the country has sent silage season into overdrive with endless outfits of tractors, trailers and harvesters racing through the meadows.

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Meanwhile, classic Fords and Massey Fergusons are hopping up and down the bog roads to bring home hard earned fuel for the winter.

Despite the pressure and demand for tractor work, 34 farmers, from all over the Royal county, made time to showcase their finest vehicles, big and small, at this year's Skyrne tractor run in aid of local charity, Meath River Rescue.

David Clarke, event organiser said: "The good weather has almost every tractor in the country out drawing silage but we still managed to put on a great show. We raised €1,540 for Meath River Rescue thanks to a brilliant turnout of families and friends who came to support us".

Christopher Rennicks, chairman of the non-profit organisation - established in 1996 by a group of local swimmers and divers - said all funds will go towards the upkeep of the invaluable service.

"It will be spent on the day-to-day running of the organisation, upgrading new suits, keeping petrol in the boats so we can continue to provide a fast and effective service to the local community. People don't realise how important a river rescue is until they see it in action," he said.

Last December, during the high floods, the group was involved in a rescue operation that lasted more than 20 days after a young man tragically got into difficulty. During their most recent search the crew located the person after just two hours.

"We are on 24 hour call and work closely with the gardai but you never know how long a search will last so funds are crucial. We would like thank the organisers and everyone who took part, it was a terrific success," he said.

The Royal event is kicking off the summer season of tractor runs that are vital to local communities as fundraisers. The Kilflynn vintage tractor road run' will take place in Kerry on June 18, the Ahiohill tractor, car and bike run will take place in Cork on Sunday June 19 as will the Kilmeedy vintage rally in Limerick. There was great interest in the vintage display at the Ballivor horse show in Meath last weekend, strong crowds also attended the Louth county agricultural show.

More than 300 tractors took part in a special tractor run in Ballyjamesduff, Co Cavan, in memory of loving father Kieran Flynn who was fatally injured a farm accident in 2012.Mr Flynn was baling with his son Gerry when he slipped and fractured three vertebrae. He lost his battle for life three days later. Family and friends organised the 20 mile Kieran Flynn Memorial Run in aid of farm accident group Embrace.

King of country

Pretty red velvet bras and frilly lace thongs are set to fly as Macra club ladies gear up for a special night with the king of country — Nathan Carter.

Dublin County Macra is inviting all members to come celebrate the end of another successful year at the Leopardstown Races, followed by a live gig with the ‘Wagon Wheel’ phenomenon, on Thursday, June 23.

Tickets, costing just €30, include admission to both events, plus a voucher for food and a little tipple if you so wish. It is inevitable that the craic will later lead spirited members to the dancefloor of country favourite, Copper Face Jacks.

Last week, Macra national representatives enjoyed tea and cake with President Michael D Higgins at a special ‘garden party’ at Áras an Uachtaráin. The event paid tribute to groups, organisations, campaigners and advocates focused on making positive changes in Ireland.

Limerick Macra will launch the Macra Annual Conference — fondly known as “The Rally” - on June 22 at the city’s Radisson Blu Hotel. Rebecca Murphy, Limerick PRO said:  “It’s a fantastic opportunity to showcase the diverse activities of our clubs, including tours of local dairy and beef farms and a fancy dress party.”

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