A group of four friends from Co. Cork known as the Irish Rovers, have been busy planning a tractor run in the UK to raise funds for the CRITICAL emergency medical response charity.

The plan is to drive the length of the UK in four vintage tractors in May. The route will start at John O’Groats and head south towards Lands End.

The intention is to cover 1,450 miles in 22 days.

The four friends involved are Kieran O’Donoghue, Paddy Ryan, Tom Fitzgerald, and James Keohane, who are all from Co. Cork and have worked together on various charity events in the past.

Their vintage tractor quartet is made up of a 1952 Nuffield DM4, a 1964 Fordson Super Major, a 1984 Ford 7610, and a 1978 Leyland 2100.

The combined ages of both the tractors and their drivers totals an impressive 446 years.

Two of the tractors are without cabs, meaning their drivers will have to brave the elements, which may not be at their most sympathetic at that time of year.

Critical to benefit

All of the money raised will go towards expanding CRITICAL’s growing network of emergency medical responders in communities across Ireland. The charity is now operating in 20 counties.

Tom Fitzgerald from Rathcormac,said: “In 2022, we completed the Malin Head to Mizen Head challenge in memory of our dear friend Joe Butler.

“The UK run seemed like the natural progression for our next adventure. You get a unique vantage point travelling on a vintage tractor and really get to experience the countryside and all the elements.”

The Irish Rovers will have a dedicated support crew accompanying them on the journey, including Declan Carey, Charles McCarthy, Lar Fanning, and Donal O’Lochlainn.

Team for Critical tractor run
The team and their tractors have been preparing for the run for the last two years

The charity’s network includes consultants, specialists and GPs with significant experience in emergency medicine. The medics are based in counties Donegal, Mayo, Dublin, Kerry, Wicklow and Waterford.

Critical Community and Events Officer, Marie Kennedy, said: “We are deeply moved by The Irish Rovers’ commitment to our cause. Their support will go a long way in aiding our emergency medical response efforts across Ireland.

“We know that every minute counts during an emergency situation. We have a growing network of volunteer doctors, paramedics, emergency medical technicians and community first responders who give up their time to attend calls in their local areas.

“Donations from the public allow us to provide these volunteers with the equipment they need to be able to respond quickly and potentially save lives.”


CRITICAL’s volunteers include more than 70 paramedics and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) from the National Ambulance Service, along with other qualified personnel who attend serious incidents and emergencies in their local areas when they are off duty.

Money raised will help continue to provide emergency backpacks which contain a defibrillator, resuscitation kit and a medical diagnostic kit.

It costs an average of €1,500 to provide these backpacks to off-duty responder,€25,000 to establish an advanced level volunteer doctor in the community, and €120,000 to put a new Critical Care response vehicle on the road.