Tractor Run in aid of the Balbriggan Branch of the Guide Dogs

April 25, 2010 0

Sunday 25th April saw 25 tractors of all ages taking part in a fundraising tractor run for Irish Guide dogs for the blind North County Dublin Branch in Garristown Co Dublin. Each tractor owner was asked to pay €20 as a registration fee and most gave much more. All participants had to complete a registration form for insurance reasons and got their disc to place on their machine after that.

Balbriggan_guide_dogs_tractor_run2Gormally’s Pub of Garristown supplied and made up sandwiches for all the tractor men and women and these were given out pre departure in Garristown community Center. Neil Gormally of the pub Gormally’s also supplied the staff to distribute the sandwiches in the community center and he also sponsored the finger food, which was in his pub after the event.

James Downey of Garristown who came up with the idea of the run approached the local volunteer of the branch Billy McGrath of Oldtown and between them they promoted the event locally and got the prizes for the auction which was held in the pub later. James made a fabulous job of auctioneer in the pub and got money out of pockets that the owners didn’t even know they had.

Balbriggan_guide_dogs_tractor_run3James spoke to all the tractor drivers before the event on matters of safety and thanked them for their support and then Tom O’Neill with his guide dog Sarge and Breege O’Neill with her guide dog Unice cut the tape, which was placed across the width of the road to officially start the event.

The event so far has raised €2136 with more to come and Tom who is the Chairman of the local branch would like to thank the following:

James Downey, Billy McGrath and local lady Pauline Wogan who managed the event from the community center aspect.

Supervalu of Balbriggan who sponsored everything else that was used in the kitchen.

Balbriggan_guide_dogs_tractor_runJulian Brown and Ainne McGrath for the entire raffle ticket sales

Safety is so important and the whole event was supervised by local Garristown Garda Jim O’Byrne who was supported by Anthony Walsh and his local motorbike crew.

A second motorbike crew from Drogheda led by Dick McConville made very sure nothing went wrong.

In a time of recession to raise over two thousand euros from an event is a great achievement but recession brings out the best in people and the branch are finding that more and more people are volunteering to help. We are all looking forward to a bigger and better event next year said Tom and for further information on local events look at or to volunteer send a mail to

All the following companies gave various items for the auction: Derek Plant Machinery Man O’War Skerries, Armstrong’s of Naul, W.B.D. Ballyboughal, Farmway Machinery Ltd Naul, Ashbourne Oil, Derek Rock Skips and local man John Battersby Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind are most grateful to all who supported in any way the event