Huge support for Conor as more than 100 support tractor run

Huge support for Conor as more than 100 support tractor run

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.

Kiltoom tractor run
A good turnout on a grey day saw over €5,000 raised towards Conor’s medical expenses

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.

Marice Gannon Galtra
Maurice Gannon’s fleet of Valtras ready to roll at the Church of the Risen Christ, Kiltoom

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.

Valtra tractor run Roscommon
This Valtra T130 has 21,000 hours clocked up and its owner is confident of it doing the same again

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.

Pronar tractor
Originating in Poland, Pronar tractors are relatively rare in Ireland
JCB at Kiltoom Roscommon
Often purchased for transport duties, the JCB Fastrac is one of those less common tractors that is frequently seen on the roads

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.

Kiltoom Athlone tractor
A slightly misleading badge on this Nuffield 60 suggests a BMC diesel where, in fact, there lurks a Perkins V8 from a Dodge Ram truck. It was installed by Darren and Kevin Monaghan who plan to finish the bodywork in 2022
Deutz tractor tractor run
Restored to stunning showroom condition after 26 years out of it, this Deutz Argo Star 6.08 has six air-cooled cylinders producing 108hp under that low-line bonnet
Fiat tractor Roscommon
This Fiat 160-90 from 1992 is still going strong and looking very tidy for a brand that didn’t enjoy the best of reputations when it came to the longevity of bodywork
Older but able ford Dexta
From 1964 this Ford Super Dexta is one of the last produced. PJ Fagan purchased it as a project for his retirement and to take on charitable runs

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!

MF 595 black
Refurbished in gloss black, similar to an option available on later models, this MF595 was brought along by Glen Fletcher, Tom O’Malley (owner) and Kevin Moran
Case puma at Athlone run
Another group of keen lads enjoying the craic were (in no particular order) Peter Reid, Gerard Reid, Arran Murray, Eiman McDonnell and Colum Kennedy
Connor's journey
Brian Claffey brought his son, Dan, along to for the trip

Source: Agriland- Justin Roberts

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