There was great excitement all over North Galway and South Roscommon with confirmation that Mountbellew Vintage Rally will be held in the Mart grounds on Sunday, July 24th.
The Covid-19 pandemic prevented the event from taking place for the past two years but this year’s version promises to be bigger and better than ever! The Mountbellew Vintage Committee, headed by Chairperson Mickey Joe Cunningham, is putting together one of the most exciting events ever seen in the west of Ireland.
The site itself covers over 60 acres with free parking facilities beside the vintage fields. According to Mr. Cunningham, there will be a special traffic management plan in place to ensure easy access in and out of the site.
Mountbellew Vintage Committee have gone to great lengths to incorporate an actual field of corn which will feature old methods of harvesting corn from the hook and scythe to modern combine harvester.
Secretary Fergal Mannion says that there will be many new vintage items of a kind rarely seen at such events. One item that will be of great interest is the car used by Michael Collins’ fiancée Kitty Kiernan during the War of Independence.
Meanwhile, committee member Eugene Crehan unearthed a broken down corn winnower which hasn’t been used for the past 70 years. Following great patience and workmanship he will give a working display of the machine at the rally. This machine was used by farmers to extract weed seeds and ‘light’ corn seeds so that only the best quality corn would be sowed.
It is expected that thousands of people will attend the event. Treasurer Matt Farrell points out that the committee is including many activities for children and that all children will be admitted free of charge whilst the adult admission charge has remained at €10 for the past ten years.
Brendan Shine and his band will play on the main stage in the afternoon and committee member Padraig Booth said that there will be ample space for caravans and tents for the many patrons who already have announced their decision to take their camper vans/caravans/tents to Mountbellew after which they will continue to enjoy the magnificent west of Ireland.
Jonathan Regan, one of the founding fathers of the Mountbellew Vintage Rally back in 2000, said that more people than ever are now keenly interested in social history.
“I have yet to meet anybody who, having browsed through the hundreds of historic items on show at the Mountbellew Vintage Rally, didn’t really enjoy the experience!” Jonathan said.