Last year on New Year’s Eve the second annual ‘Light up the Night’ truck and tractor run was held in Ballyragget, North Co. Kilkenny.
The event took place in North Kilkenny to highlight suicide awareness - mental health issues and the help and support available in the local areas, nationwide and beyond. The event in 2017 helped raise a total of €13,000 for various charities focused on working with Mental Health issues. Last year saw the convoy of vehicles take to two of the highest points in the county, Ballymartin and Spa Hill Johnstown, with the team of drivers also lighting up the motorway from Urlingford to Ballacolla.
"Our reasoning for starting this event was that our local community, which is a rural area, has been hit hard by Suicide in recent years." Freddie Farrell explained to That'sFarming.
"At all of the funerals and in the aftermath of such tragedies, a group of us talked about doing something to try create an awareness about the help available to people in our areas." he added.
The chosen beneficiaries for last year’s event included: Teach Tom, Pieta House, Aware, Kilkenny Involvement Centre, Grow South East and Kilkenny Bereavement Support Services. Last year there was an estimated 250 tractors and 150 trucks involved, making it one of the biggest events in the country.
“The level of participation and support for last year’s event from near and far was way above our anticipation,” said Freddie Farrell to That'sFarming.
“A staggering €13,000 euro was raised from such donations. These funds were distributed to local charities working with mental health issues.” He added.
He said all of the help from previous years is very much appreciated and asked for the public to again show their support.
“All of the help in making this event successful would be greatly appreciated by our group of volunteers.” Freddie said to That’sFarming.
"Why not come along and ring in the New year and keep her lit for 2019." urged Freddie.
2018 Event -
This year’s event is promised to be bigger and better again, with registration taking place between 1pm and 3:30pm on the day, December 31st.
"North Kilkenny is a perfect location for such an event, with Ballyragget being the start and finish point for all routes." said Freddie.
"Ballyragget is in a valley and within 5 miles we are at the two highest points of North Kilkenny, Ballymartin and spa Hill Johnston. This is very fitting as the rolling landscape of our routes have great similarities to the "Highs and Lows" associated with mental health and depression." he added.
All trucks, tractors and vehicles are welcome to take part in the run this year, taking place at concrete yard close to Ballragget town centre, which will be signposted on the day. There is ample parking here for trucks and tractors here on the day, with refreshments served at the carpark prior to take-off. After the event on New Year's Eve, there will be a cabaret in the Sportsman's Bar and Lounge in Ballyragget, with music on the night by DJ Pat Treacy. There will also be a raffle on the night with lots of sponsored prizes.
“Flashing lights are not mandatory but are encouraged as this is a night-run.” Urged organisers.
“Hi-vis (jackets) are also encouraged for the safety of all participants”
Donations are taken from all drivers entering vehicles, with funds distributed to local mental health organisations in the area. More information and updates can be found on the @LightUpKilkenny Facebook page here. Also, check out the video of last year's event, by Irish Agri Videos, below!
Pictures - Freddie Farrell