A good cause always brings out the best in the farming community and when the call went out to support a tractor run to help raise funds for an Athlone student’s surgery, local farmers turned out in strength – and in style.
Conor Burke (22), from Bealnamulla, Athlone was diagnosed with life-altering Ehlers-Danlos syndromes (EDS) a number of years ago, and requires major surgery in Barcelona to help correct this neurological-based condition.
This essential treatment for Conor, will, however, place a huge financial burden on the Burke family.
In response to this, Gannon Agri Contractors organised, at very short notice, a tractor run, which took place on January 9 at Kiltoom, just across the Co. Roscommon border from Athlone.
Despite being organised in less than two weeks, more than 100 tractor owners responded to the call and a total of €5,394 was raised through the entry fee and other donations.
A grey day but a good mix
Unfortunately, the sun chose not to join in but the rain held off – although nothing was going to dampen the enthusiasm of those taking part.
The tractor run was led by a fleet of Maurice Gannon’s own Valtras, obviously a very popular make in the area as a good number of other Valtras – of all ages – also took part.
But Valtras were not the only marque present.
Tractor runs tend to tempt all sorts of machines out into the public eye, offering a great opportunity to see many models that would, otherwise, remain hidden from view.
Older but able
Tractors can remain stubbornly reliable, or at least stay in serviceable condition for many years. These older vehicles can often be found – and can very much hold their own – among the shinier newer models at these charity events, much to the enthusiast’s delight.
Young and keen at the run
One of the most refreshing aspects of tractor runs nowadays is the enthusiasm shown by younger members of the farming community, many who turn out with tractors that are often older than they are themselves!