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Massey enthusiast gearing up for 6 ‘long days’ of tractor driving

Extreme Tractor Runs – Kilkelly, Co. Mayo Ireland are in the process of organising what they regard as one of their largest vintage tractor runs to date.

Their 2022 tractor run will start in London on April 24th, 2022, and arrive in Cong, Co. Mayo on April 30th, 2022.

According to organisers, the run will consist of 22 vintage tractors initially for the main part, and they expect more to join throughout the six-day event.

All funds they raise will go to Cancer Fund for Children’s Capital Appeal to construct a new Daisy Lodge facility in Cong, Co. Mayo.

In total, they will travel 833kms/522 miles, avoiding all motorways.

In 2018, they raised a sum of €96,000 for Crumlin Children’s Hospital and Castlebar MUH Special Care Baby Unit.

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Furthermore, in 2019, they raised a sum of €120,000 for the National Rehabilitation Centre Dun Laoghaire and Mullingar and Castlebar MUH Children’s and Paediatric Special Care Units.

In 2022, their focus will be solely on raising €100,000 for Daisy Lodge in Cong Co. Mayo.

Organisers have joined forces with Grassmen, who initially brought this charity to their attention. They joined them in the 32 County Bale Challenge and, by doing so, raised more than €60,000 for Cancer Fund for Children and Ronald McDonald House.

Extreme Tractor Runs 

Caitlín Mc Gonigle, a 20-year-old full-time business student at LYIT, is among those who will join the tractor run.

Speaking to That’s Farming editor, Catherina Cunnane, she said:

“My granda always had me on a tractor from when I was tall enough to reach the pedals in his home in Greencastle.”

“I then began joining him at tractor runs and vintage shows. My love and appreciation for tractors and these fundraising events began to grow, as did my love and appreciation for the quality time with my granda.”

“He, unfortunately, took a sudden heart attack and passed away, leaving his pride and joy to me.”

“Granda left me his little Massey 35x, which was one of the four tractors he had collected.”

“After granda’s passing, my brothers and I attended local tractor runs on his tractors to keep that part of him alive within us.”

Grandfather’s memory

Her grandfather had completed a tractor run from Mizen to Mayo in memory of his late wife, Kathleen, who died as a result of a rare heart disease. While doing so, the family met a group, Extreme Tractor Runs in Kilkelly, Mayo.

“These men made my granda and my whole family so welcome in Kilkelly,” she explained.

“They were fond of granda and invited him to join them in their venture in Dublin to Mayo in 2019. Sadly, granda had not had the opportunity to join these men, and they travelled the whole way to Donegal to pay their respects.”

“It then dawned on me how much of an impact granda had left on people’s lives.”

“Even after knowing them such a short time, I decided that the 35x should still complete the run and off dad, the wee Massey, and I headed for Dublin Port in April 2019.”

“I drove for two days and crossed the finish line full of every emotion. I will never forget it.”

This year’s run

Organisers invited the Donegal native to join the London to Mayo tractor run event to raise funds for the Daisy Lodge.

“The videos on social media showing how much of a positive impact this location has on children and families with cancer is so heart-warming.”

“I am so happy to see them going to build another one in Mayo. At the minute, the only facility is in Newcastle in Northern Ireland.”

“I am very honoured to be part of this massive and important fundraiser for this cause and look forward to the event.”

“Overall, I am looking forward to this year’s run. It was previously cancelled in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. I have never been to London; never mind by tractor!”

“Although I am excited, I am also nervous as it will involve six long days of tractor driving. I must stay alert at all times whilst at the wheel, but the finish line and the donation towards the charity will make it all worthwhile.”

€5,000 target 

By partaking in the event, Mc Gonigle hopes to raise €5,000 through sponsorship from local companies and support from the general public.

She has also set up a GoFundMe page, which you can access through this link.

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