A crowd of spectators watch as tractors depart from Clonmel Park Hotel on Rathkeevin Macra na Feirme New Year's Eve tractor run. Picture John D Kelly
New Year’s Eve celebrations may have been curtailed due to the Covid-19 pandemic but that didn’t stop the final day of 2021 being marked in grand style by members of Rathkeevin Macra na Feirme.
The Macra branch’s inaugural New Year’s Eve charity tractor run that attracted up to 50 tractors along with some vintage cars, motorcycles and lorries brought a welcome spectacle to Clonmel and surrounding communities on what was a quiet Christmas for most people as the country weathers the latest coronavirus wave.
Daniel Long of Rathkeevin Macra na Feirme said the tractor run attracted a lot of public support with a crowd turning up to view the fleet of vehicles at the event’s start point at Clonmel Park Hotel car park and other spectators watching it at other vantage points along the 42km route.
The massive convoy of tractors and other vehicles left from the Clonmel Park at 12 noon last Friday and paraded out the Cahir Road to the roundabout close to Cahir town. The tractors then travelled to New Inn, Rosegreen, Clerihan and back to Clonmel finishing at the Clonmel Park Hotel where participants were treated to welcome refreshments from the hotel
Mr Long said the tractor run was in aid of the children’s cancer charity Aoibhean’s Pink Tie, which provides financial and practical support to the families of children suffering from cancer.
“We charged €15 per vehicle to enter the run and also got a lot of donations from the public on the day. We plan to present a cheque of the proceeds to a representative of Aoibhean’s Pink Tie in the next week or two.”
He paid tribute to the Clonmel Park Hotel for allowing them the use of its car park and for providing refreshments for participants.
He also thanked An Garda Síochána for providing an escort for the tractor run as it left Clonmel.
Rathkeevin Macra na Feirme originally planned to end off the day with a New Year’s Eve Ball at the hotel but the event was postponed and it’s hoped to host the event instead during the spring when the Covid-19 restrictions once again ease.
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