Castle Vintage Club celebrate ten years of tractor runs
This June marks the anniversary of the establishment of the Castle Vintage Club and one decade on, they are finding themselves miles ahead.
To date, the club has raised over €200,000 for charity through their annual vintage runs around Ireland and various local fundraisers. Their tenth anniversary run took them back to where it all began in Killarney and pulled in €10,150 for the Friends of St Lukes.
'In our first year we travelled to Killarney so we decided to come back for our tenth anniversary,' explained Chairman of the Castle Vintage Club Pat Monaghan. 'We have been all over the country since the beginning; to Donegal, the Ring of Kerry, Galway and many more places. There aren't too many places that we haven't been to at this stage but we hope to return to some of them in the coming years.'
Founded in Taghmon, the Castle Vintage Club began as a small group of people with tractors who wanted to form a club. In their first year, they raised €33,000 for the oncology unit in Wexford General Hospital. The Castle Vintage Club currently has 70 members - a large number but slightly less than the 100 strong group during its peak.
'The committee and group hasn't changed much over the years but everything is going great as it is,' said Pat. 'We have also had the same people helping us out again and again, such as Nash Mini Bus Hire and everyone who provides the lorries during our runs. We are extremely grateful for their support.'
Members of the club recently celebrated their tenth anniversary by presenting their funds from the tractor run to Geraldine Stafford of the Friends of St Lukes. Their ceremony coincided with another important occasion - the silver jubilee of one of their members Fr David Murphy. To honour his 25 years as a priest, members of the club presented Fr Murphy with a model of his own tractor on a track.