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Monday 23 October 2017

Teenager invents device to save farmers' lives after grandfather's serious tractor accident

Kerry teenager Jack Nagle was a winner on the double at Tullamore Show

Tullamore Show 2017. Jack Nagle who won best inventions in the Agriculture and Student competitions. Picture; Gerry Mooney
Tullamore Show 2017. Jack Nagle who won best inventions in the Agriculture and Student competitions. Picture; Gerry Mooney
Derek Casey

Derek Casey

The Inventions Competition is always one of the highlights at Tullamore Show and this year there was an impressive prize fund of €2,500 provided by three sponsors; the Farming Independent, WR Shaw, and Glenngorey Pumps Ltd.

The beauty of all the inventions at Tullamore is that they are usually born out of necessity on farms.

They are not the idea of an engineer in an office, but instead the brainchild of someone who is faced with a common farming problem.

Jack Nagle (15) from Co Kerry can be very proud of himself after he did the double and won top prize in the Inventions in Agriculture and Student Inventions categories for his Tractor Safe Lock idea.

Jack told me how the Safe Lock - which automatically applies a tractor's handbrake when the driver leaves the seat - came about after his grandfather Patrick O'Sullivan suffered a serious crushing injury when a tractor rolled over him after he had forgotten to apply the handbrake.

Jack was only eight years old at the time, but clearly it was an accident that stuck in his mind. When he was a little older he decided to do something about it after realising that such accidents were very common in Irish farming.

The judges were impressed with Jack's determination to change things for the better for all farmers. His clever invention has already won the ABP Farming Award at this year's BT Young Scientist competition.

It was great to see a trend towards farm safety-related inventions this year, particularly in the student class of inventions.

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The show is an annual highlight for Offaly-based Tony Bergin who said he hasn't missed one since 1995.

"I find if you keep the mind active then the body looks after itself," the 87-year-old said. "It's a craze - I have to have something in it."

Tullamore Show 2017. Anthony Bergin and his grandson Steven Campion pictured in the inventions arena. Picture; Gerry Mooney
Tullamore Show 2017. Anthony Bergin and his grandson Steven Campion pictured in the inventions arena. Picture; Gerry Mooney

His was exhibiting a Kerb and Verge Grass Cutter along with his grandson and co-inventor Steve Campion.

Another serial inventor who did well again this year was Youghal's Joseph Keniry.

Mr Keniry scooped top prize in both the Labour Saving class and the Home, Leisure and Building class for his simple, yet brilliant, bag-holder device.

RESULTS

Agriculture, Horticulture and Forestry

1 Jack Nagle, Castlemaine, Kerry

2 Patrick Larkin, Athleague, Roscommon

3 Andrew O' Neill, Shannonbridge, Offaly

Inventions in home, leisure and building

1 Joseph Keniry, Youghal, Cork

2 Tony Bergin, Roscrea, Tipperary

3 Zack Dolan, Ballinamore, Leitrim

Inventions in labour saving

1 Joseph Keniry, Youghal, Cork

2 Ciarán Corcoran, Banagher, Offaly

3 Darragh Egan, Tullamore, Offaly

Inventions by students

1 Jack Nagle, Castlemaine, Kerry

2 Kate Condron, Geasehill, Offaly

3 Zack Dolan, Ballinamore, Co Leitrim


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