Faced with travelling from Mizen Head to Malin Head, not too many people would choose a standard tractor as the preferred mode of transport but that’s exactly what a farmer and son from Kirley, near Maghera , intend to do.
Joe Molloy, a beef farmer and his son Paul, a chef and farmer, are undertaking the mammoth journey to raise funds for two deserving charities with the overall target of raising £10,000.
What prompted two local farmers to think of such a thing? Joe is no stranger to fundraising and over the years has collected a significant amount of money in aid of Kilronan Special School in Magherafelt.
Perhaps unusually, Joe has no particular connection to the school, but he has always admired the work done by the staff in helping children with all kinds of learning difficulties.
His first foray into fund raising for Kilronan was the auctioning of a cow from his own herd with the sale proceeds going entirely to the school but ever since any money he has raised has come from tractor road runs. He decided last year that he’d like to make an extra special effort in 2017 and hit on the ideal of driving his tractor, a 4WD Valtra, the entire length of Ireland. He talked to Paul about the idea who immediately pledged to support his dad and asked if he would consider allocating some of the money to a charity close to Paul’s heart: the stillbirth and neonatal death charity, Sands, which exists to support anyone affected by the death of a baby and improve the bereavement care.
Plans are well advanced for the epic journey, which is expected to get underway on Thursday (March 16).
Paul has set up a Justgiving webpage and anyone wishing to contribute can go to it, or they can make a donation at Apparo Restaurant, Draperstown where Paul can be found when he’s not farming.