Batman takes to his Massey Ferguson for fundraiser

A little light relief is being provided this Halloween by a Laois man who, dressed as ‘Farmer Batman’, will tour his county on his 1962 Massey Ferguson to raise funds for cancer research.

‘One tractor, one county, one mission’ is the challenge that former dairy farmer turned massage therapist Patrick Kelly from Castletown, has set himself. Patrick, aka Farmer Batman, will travel 253km to circumnavigate Laois in one day, October 31.

Setting off at 6:00am, he will take in Borris-in-Ossory; Ballaghmore; Camross; the Slieve Blooms; Clonaslee; Rosenallis; Mountmellick; Portarlington; Vicarstown; Stradbally; Graiguecullen; Crettyard; Ballinakill; Abbeyleix; Durrow; Cullohill; Rathdowney; Errill; and back home to Castletown for 8:00pm.

Patrick has organised a variety of fundraisers for the Irish Cancer Society on October 31 over the years to mark the anniversary of his mother Mai’s death from cancer in 2016. Last year his massage challenge brought in €3,500.

With charities suffering a fall in income due to Covid-19, Patrick decided to make his late father’s Massey Ferguson 35 the centre of his 2020 fundraiser while being suitably attired as ‘Farmer Batman’.

It’s been a tough year emotionally and financially for many people so I thought let’s have a bit of fun and see what we can do to raise much-needed funds for cancer research. Due to the pandemic, a lot of screenings and treatments have been delayed.

The idea of ‘Farmer Batman’ on his Massey Ferguson following the Health Service Executive (HSE) guidelines to fundraise for the Irish Cancer Society has caught the imagination of many people who have been digging deep to donate via JustGiving.

“Already the response has been brilliant. Rather than go around looking for donations, people can donate online. Hopefully, the county run will be able to go ahead on the day – I will be working with Gardaí to ensure that everything is done in a safe manner, in line with restrictions at the time,” said Patrick.