Tractors motor through the darkness - and into the light

Tadhg Evans

Now into its second year, the Darkness into Light Tractor Run, inspired by the Pieta House fund-raising walk of the same name, continues to set a strong pace in the name of a brilliant cause and in memory of a man who had a great love of machinery.

A total of 227 tractors - remarkably, an increase on last year's astonishing turnout of 224 tractors - took part recently to raise funds for Pieta House and in memory of contractor Richard Giles, who passed away some three years ago.

Hopping into their tractors from the very early hours of the morning, drivers came from as far afield as the tip of west Kerry and beyond the county bounds to be in Faha Court for the 7am start. From there, they took on a two-hour loop around Killarney and its surrounds before returning to Faha Court.

"We took off for Beaufort Bridge, going through Fossa and then moving on to Madam's Hill," Richard's nephew and the event's chief organiser, Robert Giles, explained.

"It was on then to Aghadoe, we passed Killeen House towards Barleymount, and then we returned to Faha Court."

In line with the Darkness into Light walk, the event matched the iconic walk's symbolism by starting in darkness and finishing after dawn.

The total funds raised are not yet known, but its turnout means the funds are bound to be considerable, and such success only comes with fantastic support.

"I'd like to thank the guards, Faha Court's Seán Mahony, Charlie Coakley for providing parking, the stewards, and whoever helped," Robert said. "Not least, I must thank my family for all their support."