Longford farmers and fairies ‘hit the road’ on toy tractors

North Longford’s Colmcille Ladies Gaelic Football Club will host its second toy tractor run, fondly known as ‘Farmers and Fairies’, in Leebeen Park, Aughnacliffe, Co. Longford, today (June 2) at 1:30pm.

Community Gardai will attend to highlight the importance of road safety and to distribute RSA high visibility vests, road safety certificates and information packs.

The event will also kick off the county’s Brian Boru festival – a fundraising community festival where all funds donated will go to the Leebeen Park Development Fund.

The GAA club started the initiative after hearing about a similar event in Cavan town. “Then during a meeting about trying to figure out a way to utilise our local park and tap into our large farming community, the idea developed,” said executive member Patricia Hourican.

“In our local area there is a vintage tractor group that set up in 2011. The group has raised over €75,000 since then for various charities – such as the Irish Wheelchair Association and for kidney dialysis.

“This club is of great interest to younger people and indeed our local community. As it is not safe for children to travel in vintage tractors with the adults, we decided to hold our own toy tractor run,” she said.

“Last year more than 100 kids participated and we hope for the same this year.

We have a large farming community in Aughnacliffe and the surrounding areas. But sadly we have lost some members of our community to farming tragedies.

“We hope further education could prevent more of this,” said Patricia.

She said the north Longford community “really got behind” the event last year.

Such generous acts included: providing toy tractors; giving a helping hand to participants; selling ticket lines; registering tractors; organising entertainment; and helping with the cleaning up.

Thrilled by the response, the club has put the spotlight back on farm safety awareness this year.

We feel that this is an ideal opportunity to highlight farm safety among young people and their parents. Around this time of the year, the countdown starts to school holidays, and machinery work is at its peak.

“We want to prevent further farming fatalities from occurring in our community,” Patricia said.

Image source: Colmcille Ladies GFC Facebook page

The club has spoken to a local agricultural advisor; members have also been in contact with Farm Safety Ireland.

Participating tractors must register and pay a €2 fee.

The children will pedal their tractors around Leebeen Park. There are two routes – a shorter flat route, and a longer path.

The route the children opt to take is their own decision – along with their parents. We encourage the children to dress up in their farmer or fairy gear.

After the tractor run there will be lots of entertainment for the entire family including: a barbecue; an ice cream stand; face painting; a bouncing castle and entertainment in the scenic grounds of Leebeen Park.

For further details contact: [email protected] or call: 087-7431936.