WIN THIS TRACTOR: This Ford 2600 tractor, once owned by the Great Southern Killarney, is up for grabs in a raffle to raise funds for the Killarney Micro Track and Meningitis Ireland.
By Sean Moriarty
A tractor that once belonged to the Great Southern Hotel returned to its spiritual home for the first time in 12 years this week.
The 1979 Ford 2600 was used by the Killarney Great Southern Hotel between 1979 to 2007. It was a familiar sight around the streets of Killarney during this time as it was used to transport furniture and other equipment between the hotel and its now closed sister premises the Torc Great Southern Hotel on Park Road with well-known local gardener Con Lyne behind the wheel.
The tractor is now owned by Killarney Valley Classic and Vintage Club, and after a restoration project by the club it is being raffled to raise funds for Meningitis Ireland and the Killarney Micro Track Project.
When the hotel ownership changed hands in 2007 the tractor was sold to a vintage collector near Tralee.
The club bought it back off the collector earlier this year and it is now the centrepiece of its annual fundraising raffle. Over the years the club has raffled other tractors and a Land Rover to raise funds for local causes.
Earlier this week the club returned the tractor to the GSH. It brought back memories for PRO Tom Leslie who worked as the hotel’s leisure centre manager for 16 years.
“This is close to my heart,” he told the Killarney Advertiser. “I would have seen that tractor working every day for 16 years. It is well-known around Killarney as back then hotels would share tables and furniture, depending on who was hosting a big event, and the tractor would be seen around town pulling trailers of furniture. It also transported kegs of beer between the Great Southern and the Torc.”
The club has three more prizes as part of the fundraising raffle; second prize: Bed & Breakfast and an evening meal at the five-star Killarney Park Hotel, third prize: €400 voucher from Killarney Oils, and fourth prize: a two night pitch at Beech Grove Caravan and Camping Park, Killarney.
Tickets can be purchased from www.killarneyvintage.com or directly from the beneficiaries and are €10 each. The draw will take place on November 16 at the Innisfallen Hotel in Fossa.