Meet the women who can build a tractor in 8 and a half minutes
An all-women team of mechanics are shaking up the vintage machinery scene, write Claire Fox and Jamie Casey
An army gunner, a bar worker and a hair dresser walk into a bar.
It sounds like the start of some yarn but in fact it marks the beginning of how the only all-female team in the country that can rebuild a vintage tractor in under ten minutes was formed.
The Socket Rockettes, from Broomhill Vintage Club, Coachford, Co Cork are a recently formed group of eight women who work in teams of four to rebuild the parts of a Massey Ferguson TE 20. They can currently rebuild the vintage tractor in eight and a half minutes. The group formed after meeting in a local pub in Coachford last year.
Socket Rockette member Catherine O' Brien and Chairperson of the club, Jer O' Sullivan are calling on clubs from rival teams in Cavan and Donegal to challenge the Socket Rockettes to an all-female All-Ireland Championship. They are currently the only female team in Ireland that operates completely unassisted by male physical strength.
"We asked the Cavan team to challenge us but they refused. We want to go up against the Cavan and Donegal teams to try and reignite the All-Ireland Championship," said Jer.
The Broomhill club's male team are current World Champions and have won the All-Ireland five times. Jer said that he hoped to set up one female team but that they had so much interest that they had to make two teams.
"We were inundated with interest from women in the area. There's only ever four in a team so we had to set up two teams. They practice all the time," he said.
Retail worker, Catherine O' Brien joined the group because it is a way of raising money for charity. "It's a community thing and great for charity. We raise money wherever we go and most of us have children so we would hope that they would follow in our footsteps in the future," said the 44-year-old.