Two of the main fund-raising events, which support the work of the Castleisland based Oileán Beó, are dedicated to members now gone to their eternal reward. That the families of both men would go to the trouble of engaging in such organisational feats is surely a testament to the value of the service their dearly departed took a full part in and enjoyed thoroughly. The families also claim that the service was like a ‘second home’ to both of them.
Jim Griffin, a brother of the late John Griffin of College Road, Castleisland, organises a Honda Run around various parts of the county each September and it has staked its claim on the annual calendar of events here. Now, John’s late friend, Maurice Culloty, Ballymacelligott also has an event in his memory.
The second annual Maurice Culloty Memorial Truck Run saw an estimated 40 trucks leave the Castleisland Co-Op Mart yard close to the appointed time of 12-30 on Sunday afternoon.
“After Maurice died on May 9th 2012 we wanted to organise a memorial with something that would benefit Oileán Beó as he loved it here. We held the truck run last year on his first anniversary and it was a great success. And we’re delighted with the turn-out again today. Maurice loved trucks and the revving up and the ‘Beep-Beep’ and everything that went with it and it is our best way of creating a memorial for him when his friends in Oileán Beó can benefit from it,” said his sister, Yvonne Culloty-O’Connor.
Though gathering from 10am onwards, the yard was filling up almost all the way to the off. There were admiring glances for decorated trucks and there was quite a fuss made when an ‘Astran Cargo Services’ truck appeared.
Wearing my ignorance on my sleeve I asked why, apart from the bright colours of the truck, did it stop nearly all in their tracks.
I was told that the ‘Astran’ name is a beacon among transport companies world-wide since its founding by two friends in 1964 and it has a book and several television programmes made about it.
The dry morning facilitated a great gathering of truckers and their monstrous and much admired vehicles and shop-talk galore.
After they left Castleisland on Sunday, the convoy headed for Abbeyfeale with plans to take in: Glin, Tarbert, Ballylongford with a stop in Kitty Culloty’s in Abbeydorney. Then they headed back to Ballymacelligott and a party at ‘The Half Way Bar’ that night.
Oilean Beo was set up in 2003 by St. John of God, Kerry Services to provide a day service for adults with Intellectual Disabilities who live in the Sliabh Luachra area. Like all such services they would welcome donations and people with fundraising ideas. They can be contacted at: Oileán Beó, An Riocht AC, The Crageens, Castleisland, Co. Kerry.