The second Bill O’Shea Memorial Run takes place in just under two weeks’ time on Sunday, 10 September, in aid of Marymount University Hospital & Hospice and the Brothers of Charity Southern Services.
The O’Shea family residence in Ballybane, Shanagarry, will be the run’s headquarters for the day, holding vehicle registration and a coffee morning from 10.30am as well as refreshments after the run itself.
The O’Shea residence will be signposted for the event and those interested in taking part need only show up with their vehicle – be they modern or classic tractors, or vintage cars and motorcycles – and register on the morning prior to the 11.30am departure time.
The Bill O’Shea Memorial Run is organised through the Fota Island Vintage Club will raise money for Marymount Hospice (which took care of Mr O’Shea prior to his passing due to cancer) and the Brothers of Charity Southern Services, specifically for a Focus Day Centre for people with intellectual disabilities.
“It is the second run we are holding in memory of my Dad,” said Deirdre O’Shea, one of the event’s organisers. “We held the first one in 2015, but didn’t run it last year as it was clashing with a similar event. We raised €5,500 for Marymount two years ago, which was pretty awesome. We do a Christmas swim every year for them too. One of our neighbours, Samantha O’Brien, always helps out with the vintage runs in East Cork. Samantha works with the Brothers of Charity, specifically with the adults there, so we said we would hold this run for them as well and split the proceeds. The lack of funding up there is unbelievable and they are trying to establish a day care centre.”
One vehicle taking part in the run has special significance for the O’Shea family: a red Massey Ferguson built sometime between 1964 and 1967, which was found abandoned in a ditch by Bill O’Shea. Mr O’Shea, a passionate mechanic whose expertise was such neighbouring farmers would often call on his expertise, began restoring the vintage tractor. After Mr O’Shea’s passing the restoration of the tractor became something of a legacy project which was completed by his son Ciaran, who holds a degree in mechanics and manufacturing, in time for Mr O’Shea’s first anniversary.
“Dad did most of the restoration on the tractor,” said Ciaran O’Shea, who restarted working on the tractor in the summer of 2015. “He started on it eight years ago. I was doing my leaving cert and I loved giving him a hand. He was in no rush to finish it because he made a project out of it.”
In 2005 Bill O’Shea was diagnosed with a rare form of bowel cancer. His continued interest in restoring the tractor helped to keep his spirits up during his fight against cancer, as did the staff of Marymount Hospice who, during his nine-week stay there in 2014, went so far as to help prepare him to attend his daughter Deirdre’s wedding.
Mr O’Shea is survived by his wife Cathy, daughters Miriam and Deirdre, sons William and Ciara, as well as son-in-law Shane and daughter-in-law Claire, all of whom were effluent for their praise of the staff at Marymount. Mr O’Shea’s family has since raised over €10,000 for Marymount.