Tractor run fundraisers for Waterford baby in need of liver transplant

A tractor run to raise funds for a Waterford baby awaiting a liver transplant will be held at Lismore GAA grounds on Wednesday, December 27 at 12:30pm, with registration at 11:30am.

Little Emily Byrne, who was born at Cork University Hospital (CUH) in June 2017, has serious liver complications. She has spent a lot of time in Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children, Crumlin, and King’s College Hospital, London.

Having undergone several operations, she is now on the transplant list.

The Knockanore Melleray fundraising committee is hosting the tractor run to help defray some of the family’s medical, travel and accommodation expenses.

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Kevin Moloney, who chairs the fundraising committee, is calling for a good turnout and donations from those who cannot make the event.

Emily’s dad, Sean Byrne, is a well-known agri mechanic who worked for a long time in Cavanagh’s New Holland garage, Fermoy. In the last year, he set up his own business, West Waterford Agri Sales.

“Starting your own business is tough at the best of times, but is extremely difficult at a time of family illness, when you have to take a lot of time off,” Moloney said.

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“Emily’s mother – Ann Marie Flanagan, a member of a large well-known family – works in administration at CUH (Cork University Hospital), but is currently on leave. The Byrnes also have a young son, Cormac,” Moloney said.

“We can’t make Emily get better, all we can do is try to alleviate the financial side of things,” he said. The registration fee at the run will be €30 per tractor, and there will be donation buckets there too.

There will also be a unique ‘New Holland Grassmen TW.230’ at the charity tractor run.

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New Holland Grassmen TW.230

This tractor was given to Grassmen back in January 2017 by New Holland UK as a T7.230; Grassmen subsequently modified it, painting it in the original Ford TW blue colour with original TW stickers and white roof.

It will take part in baby Emily’s tractor run by kind permission of its new owner, and will be driven by Ian Keneally, who worked in Cavanaghs of Fermoy with Emily’s father Sean.

A spokesperson for Cavanaghs said: “On behalf of all the staff in Cavanaghs we wish that December 27 will be a huge success, and urge as many as possible to take part and support this wonderful event.”

A second event will take place on January 6. It will take the form of a walk in Knockanore, with donations accepted on the day.

People can contribute online to the KGK Benevolent Fund BIC: AIBKIE2D; and IBAN: IE 51 AIBK 9341 8623 2520 06. Donors are asked to quote CU ref no. 10547.

Little Bob’s Tractor Run, which remembers tractor fanatic Bob Power who died tragically in 2011, will this year raise funds for baby Emily. The run will take place in Tournaneena village, Waterford, on New Year’s Day, assembling at 12:00pm and departing at 1:00pm. Former Waterford hurling star, Seamus Prendergast, will be present.

Organiser, Michael Dalton, said that Emily’s dad had supported their tractor run over the years, and now the committee wanted to give back to the Byrne family.

Emily’s fund will receive 90% of the proceeds, with 10% going to Touraneena Community Alert group. Registration costs €20, and breakfast and soup with sandwiches will be available in the community centre, with numerous prizes. A perpetual shield will also be presented.