Vintage tractors to raise charity cash

Vintage tractors to raise charity cash
The Great Vintage Tractor Tour is a Pan-UK drive on classic tractors to raise money for CRITICAL.

A group of Irish vintage and classic tractor enthusiasts, known as The Irish Rovers, is going to undertake an epic drive across the UK in May to raise money for the CRITICAL emergency medical care charity.

Kieran O'Donoghue, Paddy Ryan, Tom Fitzgerald, and James Keohane - for they are The Irish Rovers - aim to cover more than 2,300km of driving in just 22 days. Their vintage tractor quartet, consisting of a 1952 Nuffield DM4, a 1964 Fordson Super Major, a 1984 Ford 7610, and a 1978 Leyland 2100, will set off from John o' Groats in Scotland and conclude their journey at Land's End in England. The four tractors have a combined age of 446 years, and two of them don't have cabs, so start praying now to the deity of your choice for fair weather in May. They won't be alone, though - there's a dedicated support team made up of Declan Carey, Charles McCarthy, Lar Fanning, and Donal O'Lochlainn accompanying the tractors.

Scenic route

Tom Fitzgerald from Rathcormac said, "In 2022, we completed the Malin Head to Mizen Head challenge in memory of our dear friend Joe Butler. The UK run seemed like the natural progression for our next adventure. You get a unique vantage point travelling on a vintage tractor and really get to experience the countryside and all the elements. We're taking the scenic route which means we're also travelling a longer route. We estimate it will take us just over three weeks to complete. We will be keeping our supporters updated with videos and photos on our Facebook page throughout."

John o'Groats to Land's End

The route through Britain will take in such iconic locations as the Scottish Highlands, the shores of Loch Ness, the foot of Ben Nevis, the Forth Bridge in Edinburgh, the Pennines, the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales, the Peak District, the Malvern Hills, the Cotswolds, Bath, Stonehenge, Devon, and Cornwall.

The CRITICAL Community and Events Officer Marie Kennedy added, "We are deeply moved by The Irish Rovers' commitment to our cause. Their support will go a long way in aiding our emergency medical response efforts across Ireland. We know that every minute counts during an emergency situation. We have a growing network of volunteer doctors, paramedics, emergency medical technicians and community first responders who give up their time to attend calls in their local areas. Fundraisers like this and donations from the public allow us to provide these volunteers with the equipment they need to be able to respond quickly and potentially save lives."

Emergency medical volunteers

CRITICAL brings together more than 70 volunteers from paramedic and emergency medical teams, who are so dedicated that they will attend serious accidents and emergencies even when they're off-duty. They have been provided with emergency backpacks which contain a defibrillator, a resuscitation kit and a medical diagnostic kit. The charity's network also includes consultants, specialists and GPs with significant experience in emergency medicine. The medics are based in Donegal, Mayo, Dublin, Kerry, Wicklow and Waterford.

According to CRITICAL, it costs an average of €1,500 to provide an emergency backpack to an off-duty responder, €25,000 to establish an Advanced level Volunteer Doctor in the community; and €120,000 to put a new Critical Care response vehicle on the road.

Want to get involved? You can donate to the tractor run here:

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Published on February 2, 2024