Caitlin urging other girls to join her on charity Tractor Run


Caitlin with her Massey Ferguson
Caitlin with her Massey Ferguson

A TEENAGE girl who is taking part in a tractor run in memory of her grandfather is calling on other females to take to the road with her this Easter.

Caitlin McGonigle, from Clonmany on the Inishowen peninsula in Donegal, is taking part in the second Dublin2Mayo Tractor Run in April in memory of her grandfather Paddy Duffy, who died suddenly of a heart attack in November.

Caitlin (17) fondly remembers accompanying her grandfather on a tractor run last year from Malin Head to Mizen Head and credits him with instilling in her an interest in tractors.

“He had four vintage tractors and his favourite were Massey Fergusons. He put me on a tractor in a local St Patrick’s Day parade when I was just two years old,” she says.

“He raised €12,000 last year for Beaumont Hospital in Dublin in memory of my granny Kathleen who passed away, and the Croi Heart and Stroke charity, who looked after my mom Sharon when she got a heart attack.

“Croi had special accommodation for us, which meant a lot to us at the time as Donegal to Galway is quite the drive.”

The fifth-year Carndonagh Community School student bought a vintage Ford tractor with her brother Tiernan last summer which they restored with her grandad.

She and her grandad planned to do the Dublin2Mayo Tractor run in April but she will now do it in his memory, driving his 1961 Massey Ferguson 35X.

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Caitlin is raising funds for the event’s three designated causes: the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Dublin, the Special Baby Care Unit in the Regional Hospital Mullingar and the Special Baby Care Unit in Mayo University Hospital.

As Caitlin is the only daughter in her family with three brothers, she says it was only natural that she was interested in tractors.

“My other grandad Michael has an interest too. He owns one of the country’s only vintage graders,” she says.

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“My friends think it’s a bit weird that I have such an interest in tractors but they are all supportive of me raising funds for charity and doing this in memory of my grandad.

“I hope to raise as much funds as I can for the charities and hope that more women take part because I was talking to the organisers recently and I was the only girl who had signed up.”

To support Caitlin’s fundraising you can donate at paypal.me/caitlindublin2mayo.

The Dublin2Mayo Tractor Run raised over €90,000 for charity last year. It began in the Phoenix Park and ended the 280km journey in Castlebar.

For more information visit the Dublin2Mayo Facebook page.

grassroots diary

claire Fox Email: [email protected]

Indo Farming

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