3 May 2016
By David O’Sullivan
A UK Agricultural Engineering lecturer is to travel to Union Hall, Cork this July to undertake a challenge to rebuild a Massey Ferguson tractor in 24-hours, with a little help from colleagues and friends. The tractor will then be raffled off to raise funds for Union Hall RNLI.
Michael O’Sullivan is a lecturer in Wiltshire College, England and has a home in Union Hall, where his father was born. Michael approached Union Hall RNLI some months ago with his unique fundraising idea and asked them if they could source a dilapidated tractor for the 24-hour challenge. They could and they did and plans are now in place for the 24-hour rebuild on Wednesday 13 July 2016 on Keelbeg Pier in Union Hall.
Commenting on the novel fundraiser Pamela Deasy, Union Hall RNLI Lifeboat Press Officer said, ‘This wonderful project, to be carried out with the help of the local community, will raise much needed funds for Union Hall RNLI. We are passionate about three things in this part of the world; the sea, our sport and the land and this project encompasses two out of three of them.
‘Some years ago we saw a need for a lifeboat service here and we approached the RNLI to consider our proposal. Even before there was a lifeboat in Union Hall the community raised funds for the charity. The awful tragedy with the Tit Bonhomme in 2012 brought home to us how unpredictable the sea can be and how many families have lost loved ones to it. In 2014 the RNLI established a lifeboat station in Union Hall with an Atlantic class inshore lifeboat on a two year trial. Since that time the volunteer lifeboat crew has responded to 17 callouts and brought 21 people to safety.’
The parts for the tractor are being donated to the project by AGCO, and organisers hope to able stream the 24-hour challenge live online.