Big Vintage Rally Weekend in Mountbellew

 

 

The mammoth Mountbellew Annual Vintage Rally will take place again this year at the Mountbellew Regional Co-Op Mart grounds on Sunday, July 28th, 2019. Because of the huge attendances at this rally over the past few years, the organising committee have – thanks to the generosity of a number of local land owners – increased the parking facilities which will mean that every vehicle will find free parking space within a short distance of the massive vintage rally grounds.

  Speaking at a press reception recently to announce details of the myriad of activities that will be on show, the new chairperson of the vintage rally committee, Mickey Joe Cunningham, said that he was pleased to announce that a team from Northern Ireland would compete in a special lawnmower race not yet seen in any vintage rally in the West of Ireland.

  “We will also have on display our biggest restoration project when the famous old County Council steamroller that was displayed on the grounds of the County Council for years will be on show. Between our own resources and grant aid, we have already invested over €130,000 on the project, and when completed, it’s likely to be the biggest single restoration project ever carried out by a voluntary vintage group,” said Mr. Cunningham.

  There will be a special Steyr tractor display which will bring back many happy childhood memories of the little green tractor with its very distinctive sound. These tractors were imported from Austria by the late John Curley from Kiltomer, Ballinasloe and were a familiar sight on the small farms of the West of Ireland in the 1950s.

  Mr. Fergal Mannion, Secretary of the vintage committee, said that the special working harvest field will be available again this year when every conceivable piece of old harvesting machinery going back over a hundred years will be on display and many will cut corn on the day.

  Mr. James Coffey of Lecarrow, Co. Roscommon and his mighty pair of horses will mow grass – a farm activity not seen for over sixty years and which will undoubtedly amuse many young people who never saw or heard of such a farming practice. There will be a huge number of stalls selling everything from ice cream to chainsaws, and there will be many novelty events that will appeal to the young and the not so young alike. President, and a former founder member of the vintage rally, Jonathan Regan, said that the rally’s motto was to provide a safe and entertaining venue for a huge number of families to enjoy an inexpensive recreation of what Irish society was like in rural Ireland dating back almost a hundred years.

  After his stunning performance last year, Brendan Shine and his band will lead his legion of followers into song and dance to the delight of everybody present.

  All children will be admitted free of charge, car parking is free and adult admission is €10. There will be a display of some old-style steam engines in the Square on Saturday evening.