Expect big crowds out on the road this bank holiday Sunday as the Inish Tractor Run makes it colourful way around Inishowen.
The family of the late John Byrne is “delighted” that this year’s charity Inish Tractor Run is dedicated to his memory.
The popular 72-year-old who died suddenly last July had been a much-loved businessman and community leader in the Malin area for most of his life.
Son Charlie Byrne said his dad would have been “chuffed” by the honour.
“We are delighted that this year’s tractor run is being held in dad’s memory. Dad always enjoyed helping out at the annual event and especially loved the craic and banter he had while doing the gate for the night event.”
“He’d be really chuffed at this token of appreciation.”
The 2023 Inish Tractor Run, which is expected to have more than 250 tractors, will start at the most northerly tip of Banba’s Crown before meandering through the peninsula via Glengad, Culdaff, Gleneely, Moville, Quigley’s Point, Glentogher, Clonmany and back to Malin Town.
Inish Tractor Run PRO Callum Harley explained how they decided to dedicate the event to John Byrne because he was a great friend to all and remains sorely missed in the community.
“John was a great friend of all our members. He was great around the community, especially in the GAA and RNLI. He had helped us since we started.”
“John was always a great man at gathering money. He stood all night at the gate lifting the money. He was well fit for a smart answer if anybody tried to get in for nothing.”
“He joined us in McClean’s the night after for ‘Sean South Of Garryowen’ and ‘The Men Behind The Wire’. He was a great bit of craic to have about the place. We miss him and will continue to remember him proudly,” Callum said.
The run itself will be followed by a night-time barbecue and country music at the Malin marquee, with Jim Devine and headliner Mike Denver among those on stage.
€200,000 for charity
The Inish Tractor Run has raised an incredible sum of just under €200,000 for local charities since it started in 2014. This year the top prize is a Massey Ferguson 35X followed by a runners-up prize of €2,500 and a third prize of €1,000.
This year’s chosen charities are the Donegal Hospice and Hughie’s Corner, while proceeds will also go towards the entire development of a new soft play area for the Intellectual Disability Unit at Croc na Coille, Carndonagh.
Callum explains how the three beneficiaries came to be selected – and how the ITR tends to focus on charities that are not funded by the government.
“We would usually always choose a Donegal charity, followed by an Inishowen Charity. Donegal Hospice has been chosen four or five times now, while Hughie’s Corner caught the eye as they offer children’s counselling for 5 to 17-year-olds.”
“And finally with the soft play area; it was Neilly McDaid who came to us and explained the upcoming project. We have chosen to fund the entire project. Having the ability to fund this is very satisfying.”
“Each one of our committee and donators should be proud once they see the finished project in Croc na Coille, having a play park that is staffed and protected by the HSE so the less fortunate can enjoy themselves.”
“Hopefully the project can be completed as soon as possible,” Callum said.