A group of vintage tractor enthusiasts are about to embark on a fundraising challenge, driving from Mizen Head in Co. Cork to Malin Head in Co. Donegal, for The Long Way Home Vintage Run.

The Mizen-to-Malin run is to raise funds for two charities, Temple Street Children’s Hospital and The Kevin Bell Repatriation Fund.

Temple Street Children’s Hospital has a special place in the hearts of many families throughout the country and is always in need of monetary support for the great work it accomplishes.

The Kevin Bell Repatriation Fund has been involved in many repatriations and has been an incredible support to many families in their time of need.

The Long Way Home Vintage Run

The eight tractors from west Cork, along with 15 tractors and some motorbikes from Kilmainhamwood Vintage Club in Co. Meath, will leave the carpark at Mizen Head on June 2, and traverse the route over the following four days.

The first day they travel to Bantry, Kenmare, Killarney and overnight in Tralee. The second day will see them travelling through Listowel and Tarbert, where they will board the ferry to Killimer and travel through Ennis before they overnight at Oranmore.

On the third day they continue northwards through Claremorris and onwards to an overnight halt in Donegal town. The fourth and final day will see them visit Letterkenny, Buncrana and towards their objective at Malin Head.

Vintage tractors

The participants will undertake the near 700km route on their restored vintage tractors which span an era of agriculture from the 1950s to the late 1980s.

The vehicles have all been restored to concourse condition.

Unlike the modern tractors that have fully suspended cabs, air conditioning and sound systems, only two of the west Cork tractors on the Long Way Home Vintage Run have the luxury of a protective windscreen. The remainder are fully open to the elements.

Tractor run

Among those participating are three members of the well-known Ryan family from Ballinsacarthy.

Paddy will use a David Brown 950 built in 1959; Michael will drive his 1964 David Brown 990; and Denis will take off in a 1977 David Brown 996, a tractor that has a special significance to the Ryan family members.

It is the tractor that their father bought in 1977 from Atkins in Cork, who were the dealers for that marque at the time. Now after a complete restoration, Denis will proudly steer it along the route.

Brothers Diarmuid and James French from Leap will use their respective David Brown tractors; Diarmuid will have his 1967 Brown 880 model, while James will drive his David Brown 1200 model from 1967.

Conor O’Sullivan, Clonakilty, will proudly present his 1964 Fordson Super Major and John Fleming will also use his Super Major tractor. Martin McCarthy from Innishannon, will use his Ford 4610 from 1978.

The participants are open to offers of sponsorship for their endeavours. The Kilmainhamwood Vintage Club recently presented a cheque for €26,000 to the Kevin Bell Repatriation Fund and hopes to raise much more from this event.

Tractor run

Meanwhile, a fundraising car, truck, tractor and motorbike run is planned to take place on the Monday of this bank holiday weekend (May 2), commencing from the Fish Basket at the Long Strand, Castlefreke, Rosscarbery, Co. Cork. All are welcome.