25th Annual Rally July 2014

The 25th Annual Rally took place this year over the weekend 12/13 July 2014 in Counties Kildare and Meath. It was organized jointly by members Peter and Bernard Duffy who showed us around their native Co Kildare on Saturday. John and Frances Brady together with Michael Harris hosted the run in Co Meath on Sunday.

Peter Duffy and Bernard Duffy were the Saturday orrganisers.

 John and Frances Brady co-organisers of the Sunday event.

Michael Harris co-organiser of the Sunday event pictured after the Drivers’ briefing.

Day One – Saturday 12th July 2014

Following our briefing on Saturday we departed our base, the Hamlet Court Hotel in Johnstown Bridge. 24 Ts made more than a few heads turn as we headed for our first stop, the home of Peter Duffy.

Part of the Peter Duffy Tractor collection.

All the members were impressed by the fine collection of vintage tractors, cars and machinery, all in pristine condition, lovingly collected and maintained over the years by Peter.

Garage laid out for morning reception

We were treated to coffee, tea scones, muffins and other goodies before we resumed our journey through the leafy roads to our next stop.

We drove through Straffan and Clane, over Digby Bridge to our lunch destination, Mondello Park.

Members considering the collection of race cars at Mondello museum.

It was a totally different mode of transport we viewed as these very noisy vehicles roared at a breathtaking speed around the track. We all agreed it was most unlikely any of our elderly treasures would ever go anywhere near the speedometer number these cars were experiencing but we didn’t hear any complaints about that!

Our next stop was a visit to the Guinness Family home where there is located a steam museum par excellence.  The museum is housed in a former Church which was re-positioned stone by stone from a village in south Dublin and now housed an array of working steam engines of all sorts.

Fleming father and son at Steam Museum, Co. Kildare.

Group photograph of members who participated at the 25th Annual Rally in Kildare / Meath.

 John H and John B engage in conversation at the Steam Museum, Co. Kildare.

After lunch and a leisurely ramble around, we left the noise and excitement behind and drove off in the direction of the delightful village of Robertstown on the banks of the canal.

Robertstown, Co Kildare and the Grand Canal

The charming, picturesque town community of Robertstown is centred on the Grand Canal, which runs from the centre of Dublin City all the way out to the waters of the Shannon, the longest river in the British Isles. Along with the Royal Canal, which cuts through the north of the county, the canal once served an important tourism and commercial function.  

In the mid 1800’s the Grand Canal once carried 100,000 passengers a year and was used by freight barges up to the 1960’s. Although nowadays the canal have no commercial use they are still popular recreational destinations, both canals are used by coarse fishers and Roberstown is the base for canal cruises.

Onwards in very pleasant weather until we reached the private Ginty’s museum.

Cathal and Eimear were among the young and old in our group came to admire the artifacts.

Club President Michael Rigney with Joan and Mary at McGinty Museum.

 Pondering and relaxed are John, Tim and Michael at McGinty museum.

This was a treasure trove of memorabilia from times past and to add to the fun, the Duffy brothers had devised a fun quiz to test our powers of observation!

On our homeward journey we drove through Staplestown before reaching our hotel where we had a short time to rest and get ready for the Gala Dinner of the rally.

Club President Michael Rigney welcomed members and their friends to our event and expressed his thanks for their continuing support. He acknowledged the hard work of the Bradys, the Duffys and Ml Harris for which we had the pleasure of enjoyment.

The Rosslare Strand Hotel cup was presented to Eimear Dunne.

Eimear Dunne being presented with the Rosslare Strand Cup by Club President Michael Rigney.

Eimear Dunne with her proud family holding the Kelly Strand Cup after the presentation by Club President Michael Rigney

The silver salver, a memento of the UK Club’s 1997 visit was presented to James Boland.

Presentation to Jim Boland of the silver salver by Club President Michael Rigney at the Gala Dinner.

Jim addressed his fellow members and said he was looking forward to full recovery after a recent medical operation and maybe he might purchase a T to complete his collection.

The Secretary reminded members there was a call for 50 Ts for our static show in Stradbally to assist in the celebration of 50 years of steam over the bank holiday week end. Likewise he asked the Munster members to support the De Courcey harvest festival at Barrel’s Cross near Kinsaale the following day, for which John O’Neill would be obliged.

We enjoyed a superb meal, followed by music with Ray Cox and star performances by some of our more talented members, making it an evening to remember.

Day Two – Sunday 13th July 2014

The morning dawned, dry but cloudy. John Brady gathered the members for the drivers’ briefing.

Disribution of maps, itinerary and souvenir literature to drivers and guests prior to the start of the Sunday event.

We drove off, the braver members having the hoods down!.  Our first stop was the village of Summerhill, where we were met with a local historian Caroline Kane,who gave us a fascinating account of Summerhill House, the mansion around which the village was built.

Local historian Caroline Kane speaks of Summerhill House, the mansion around which the village was built.

Members listen with interest in the village of Summerhill to local historian Caroline Kane.

The real excitement of the visit however, was the news of the early arrival of a baby boy for Lorraine Dunne and her partner Vinnie who are both loyal members of the Club. Lorraine’s thrilled parents Eamon and Sheila were beaming with happiness for the rest of the run!

The extended Dunne family on the announcement of a Dunne heir at Summerstown Co Kildare on 13th July 2014.

Leaving Summerhill we drove to the historic Hill of Tara where we had time to explore and take in the views and the atmosphere of this extraordinary place.

Hill of TARA.

In spite of a short spell of misty rain the weather was kind and it was pleasantly warm.

Burial Chamber at Hill of Tara

Prior to setting off again towards our lunch stop, the Brady family hosted a most enjoyable break and while enjoying tea, coffee and delicious scones at the Hill of Tara, the local book seller gave us an interesting account of the historical importance of Tara to the Nation.

Local book seller speaks of the historical importance of Tara to the Nation in times past.

We carried on in our journey and arrived at The Station House, Kilmessan, the lunchtime choice of our hosts John and Frances Brady; and it was superb. The food was excellent and enjoyed by us all. Meanwhile, our cars were the centre of attention outside in the sunshine, where they were being photographed and admired by all

The Station House, Kilmessan, our Sunday lunch stop.

After lunch we traveled to the historic town of Trim. Having parked up in the great lawn adjacent to Trim Castle, we were met by historian and local Councillor Noel French who gave us a brief history of Trim and the impressive Castle, which was built in the 12th century

Members gathered and listened to a brief history of Trim and the impressive 12th Century Castle.

.Local Councillor Noel French at Trim at Castle.

 Model Ts at Trim Castle.

We cranked up the trusty T’s once again and set off for our final stop the home of John and Frances Brady where we were treated to more delicious goodies with tea and coffee to fortify us before we headed homewards.

Ladies at Brady home.

The Brady family at home

Robert Clarke and Matthew Byrne

Afternoon tea at Bradys

Before we finally bid farewell, there was the small matter of the inspection of a “work in progress” 1914 T to be admired!

John Brady shows off his WIP.

Hopefully, John B will have it on the road for the 26th Annual Rally.


John & Mary O’Neill from Ballinadee, Co. Cork

O’Gorman father and son from Co. Kildare

Dunne Grandmother, daughter and grandaughter from Bray, Co. Wicklow

Margaret and Yvonne

David & Anne Hore from Co. Wexford with Frances Brady from Enfield Co Kildare.

Eamon & Sheila Dunne with daughter.

John & Sarah Daly from Drogheda, Co Louth.

Benny O’Gorman with his current 1923 T and his forme 1926 T.

Bernard and Anne Duffy from Co Kildare.

Selection of Ts departing the Duffy homestead, Co Kildare.

Crowley brothers from Tipperary and Cork

Robert and Catherine Clarke from Bandon, Co. Cork.

David and Marian Cuddy from Adare, Co. Limerick

Hugh and Maura Clarke from Clonmel, Co. Tipperary

Convoy of Ts entering the Guinness Museum

Members give full attention to early morning drivers briefing.

James Stinson from Donegal

Anne Duffy and the Duffy T

The weekend was a huge success. Thank you to all five of the organisers who put together such a varied and enjoyable series of drives. We all understand the amount of work and effort involved to make a rally enjoyable.  done and congratulations on a wonderful weekend to you all – Michael Harris, Peter and Bernard Duffy , John and Frances Brady.

We will be back!

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