Launch of a mammoth tractor race in London
ALL TOGETHERSian Flatley is driving her tractor from London to Cong next week.
An 18-year-old woman from Knock will drive her 65-year-old tractor from London to Cong via Belfast next week to help raise money for the Cancer Fund For Children and the construction of the Daisy Lodge in Cong.
The respite center will be only the second of its kind on the island of Ireland and Sian Flatley and his 21 colleagues from the London to Mayo Tractor Run hope to raise substantial funds with their 833km / 522 mile six-day journey from central London to the west coast of Ireland.
Participants, all driving vintage tractors, will leave the Claddagh Ring in London and travel to Belfast before visiting the Daisy Lodge in Newcastle, County Down. They will then travel to Kilkelly before ending the journey in Cong at the site of the proposed respite centre.
The Leaving Cert student from St Louis Community School Kiltimagh is looking forward to the big adventure and told The Mayo News she has been interested in machines all her life.
“My dad Aiden does bailing in the summer so as soon as I could reach the pedals I was on a tractor. I do all the packing for my dad and anything that needs to be done like plowing , harrowing, sowing, rolling, dicing, baling, slurry, road sweeping and topping.
Sian will be driving a 1957 Ferguson 35 (Gold Belly) with a distinctive contrast of pewter gray and wheels with gold casting and the Knock woman is determined that the event will raise as much money as possible for the worthy cause.
“There is no family in Ireland that does not know someone who has needed this support. He touched all of our lives in one way or another. For me, it’s so close to home. Family friend Jamie has Down syndrome and was first diagnosed with leukemia in March 2018. He completed treatment but relapsed and is currently undergoing bone marrow treatment again and eye cancer.
“He’s only 13 but he’s truly inspiring and one of the happiest people I’ve ever met. Jamie is incredibly special to my family and we would do anything to help. overemphasizing that a respite center like Daisy Lodge would help a child like Jamie and his family,” Sian concluded.
Ballycroy native David Sweeney is also preparing for the big race. He has restored a vintage tractor and hopes the event will raise as much money as possible for the good cause.
“The support we have so far is brilliant and I can only imagine what it will be like in the next few days,” he added.
Details on how to contribute to the fundraiser can be found on the “London2Mayo” Facebook page where there is a link to a GoFundMe page.