Young farmers organise tractor run in aid of Pieta House

Portlaoise Macra will host a tractor run in aid of Pieta House on Easter Monday, April 2.

Last year’s event raised €1,600 for the charity – which works with those who have suicidal thoughts or who self-harm and which recently opened a premises in Athlone.

Karen O’Shea, campaign manager of Pieta House, said: “We are indebted to the public and their fundraising efforts for Pieta House – as without them we could not continue our service free of charge.

As we are 85% funded by the public, we rely heavily on the generosity of those holding and attending fundraising events for us.

“This will ensure that our 15 centres across the country can offer therapeutic care to those that come to our doors. In 2017 alone, we saw 7,117 people.”

The run will start at the Rock Inn, just outside Portlaoise town, at 12:00pm. Last year 64 tractors, both vintage and modern, took part. AgriLand was at the event, which was well worth the trip.

Founded in 1952, the club – which has over 30 members – came third in the national Macra farm skills competition last year.

Comedy county fundraiser

Meanwhile, Laois Macra’s hosting of The 2 Johnnies’ show – which was scheduled to take place on March 3, but was deferred due to the severe weather conditions – will now be held on Friday, April 6, in the Midlands Park Hotel, Portlaoise.

Doors will open at 7:00pm and the show will kick off at 8:30pm.

Also Read: Video: Young farmers to host ‘internet sensation’ in the midlands

The main sponsor of the event, which is the county executive’s main fundraiser for the year, is family-run business and main Massey Ferguson dealer, EV Condell, Portlaoise.

Over 400 tickets have been sold, with a limited number now available through Eventbrite.

Helen Dempsey, who chairs Laois Macra, said members organise and assist with a range of charity events including the annual shoe box appeal for children in developing countries co-ordinated by James Barber, national agricultural chairperson for Macra.

Laois Macra

Laois Macra celebrated its 70th anniversary in 2016 – with 15 members cycling 70 miles to Macra’s annual conference in Limerick, raising €4,500 for Bumbleance, a specialist children’s ambulance service run by the Saoirse Foundation.

Last year it donated €500 to the Caroline Foundation towards cancer research.

Other activities include basketball – a ladies team from Laois won the All-Ireland competition in recent weeks – and a monthly agricultural-themed photographic competition, with the monthly winners’ images featured in a calendar.

Everyone, members and non-members alike, is welcome to submit an entry.