The parish of Castleconnor, near Ballina, was plunged into mourning on May 23 this year following the sudden death of popular local man, Des Flynn.
A farmer, who loved the land and loved tractors, Des’ death, at the age of just 46, has left a void in the social fabric of the local area.
With planning in place for the Castleconnor GAA Club’s annual Cow Dung Festival underway it was decided to use the opportunity to raise vital funds for the Irish Heart Foundation in memory of Des Flynn.
Staying true to Des’ love of tractors it was decided to hold a tractor run. Initially, organisers estimated that 50 tractors might participate but they were overwhelmed when a staggering 128 tractors arrived on a mild Sunday in August.
Following registration, the procession of tractors commenced their 12-mile journey at the Castleconnor Community Centre before travelling via Des’ homeland of Carragun through Enniscrone and back to the starting point.
The entry fee was €20 and some very generous donors also contributed funds. A presentation of spot prizes ensued followed by refreshments served by the many neighbours and friends who volunteered their time on the day.
Despite the sadness upon which the event was organised, everyone enjoyed remembering their friend Des Flynn, a man who worked hard, socialised locally and had a nice word for everybody.
The Irish Heart Foundation’s regional fundraising manager for the Northwest Toni Bourke was delighted to accept a cheque for €3,140 last weekend.
The committee who organised the Des Flynn Tractor Run would like to thank the Castleconnor GAA and the Cow Dung Festival for the opportunity to host the Tractor Run, the many stewards and volunteers on the day and the very generous donations and sponsorship from Joe Kennedy, Chairman, Ireland West Knock Airport; The Bridge House Hotel, Tullamore; The Hodson Bay Hotel, Athlone; Ardagh Agri Services; McHale’s Farm Machinery, Kilmaine; Arch House B&B and Apartments Athlone; Office Pro and Moy Transport.