Kilkenny man celebrates 32 county trek on his vintage tractor

Sian Moloughney

Reporter:

Sian Moloughney

Paul Palmer being welcomed home to Ballyouskill by his wife Frances and daughters Gemma, Rachel and Grace

Paul Palmer being welcomed home to Ballyouskill by his wife Frances and daughters Gemma, Rachel and Grace

There was a great celebration in Ballyouskill, last Saturday, as family and friends welcomed home a local man who travelled to all 32 counties in Ireland - on a vintage tractor!

Paul Palmer set off from Kilkenny Castle on July 28 and undertook a 1,500 kilometre solo trek around Ireland on his vintage 1955 Ferguson 20 tractor to raise organ donor awareness.

The celebration took place in Paul’s local pub, The Wheel Inn, in Ballyouskill.

With Paul was his trusted 1955 Ferguson T20 Tractor which proved more than capable for the five-week long crusade, while pulling a specially made organ donor branded wagon.

It only experienced just one setback on the 1,500 kilometre journey - a repairable puncture!

The wagon was Paul’s ‘home away from home’ for his journey, equipped with a bed and all the comforts he needed during the challenge.

Paul decided to embark on his self-funded journey, The Ferguson 20/32 Challenge, to support the Irish Kidney Association in increasing organ donor awareness. His passion for vintage tractors and love for the land gave him the idea for this novel challenge which was also a way to mark his 50th birthday year.

Paul experienced a warm welcome in the towns he stopped in along the way, distributing organ donor cards and reminding people to let their loved ones know their wishes about organ donation. He even stopped off at the Electric Picnic Festival before returning home to Ballyouskill.