Ballinspittle in De Courcey Country is famous for miracles but the 3rd of August 2015 saw a miracle happen in Ballinadee on the other side of the parish. After prolonged heavy rain on the previous night the Bank Holiday Monday dawned with sunshine and a fresh breeze to dry out the corn for the annual harvest working day.
By midday conditions were perfect for cutting and lasted for the full day however in the evening time when the harvest was complete the opening in the weather vanished and down again came the heavy rain.
The De Courcey harvest working day is now in its fifth year. Previously the event has been held at Barrell’s Cross, Kinsale but this year it was held on the land of Paddy and Anne McCarthy in Ballinadee. The McCarthy family have a long association with farming, machinery and especially harvest equipment.
The theme selected for the 2015 harvest day was “A century of change” and featured horse drawn machines right up to modern combine harvesters. The official opening was performed my Mr Michael Moroney of the Irish Farmers Journal.
On arriving at the site visitors were met by a line-up of vintage combines all oiled and greased having been prepared in advance for the big day. But before the combines took to the fields, the day’s action began in the tilling area with vintage tractors joining Donal McCarthy’s Clysdale horses ploughing and tilling at the top of the field. Also in this section was Tommy Hales with his Lanz Bulldog. Alongside the tilling area O Sullivan’s thresher from Caheragh was lining up with Lordon’s steam engine from Bandon.
Finally the last of the tractors arrived for the static display and the cutting began. First away were the older trailed combines and the smaller self-propelled machines. Among these were several Massey Fergusons including the 1986 MF16 owned by Marcus McKenna and Dan Joe O Sullivan. This machine previously belonged to the Dept. of Agriculture and was used on the experimental crop plots. Also in this group was Jim Connolly’s 1969 Ransomes Cavalier 902 a rare machine indeed in this country.
As the combine worked away Con Ahern with help from the O’Donoughue family tackled up a team of three draught horses to the reaper and binder. The binder originally belonged to his father and was on loan for the harvest day. The sight of three horses working as a team to pull the binder drew a large crowd.
When the older combines finished up, the yellow machines took over. There were various New Hollands including the landowner Paddy McCarthy in his 1974, 1530 model. This machine was bought from Henry Goods in Kinsale in 1976. Paddy was only sixteen years of age at the time and is still working the same combine. The crowds were well entertained into the afternoon with the bigger machines making short work of the remaining corn.
Throughout the day music and entertainment was to be had at the grandstand. The picnic area was full with people enjoying food from several outlets set up for the day. The static display had an impressive line-up of tractors and cars. Some nice landrovers attended including Kieran Sisk with his impressive 1979 series three and caravan combination, a familiar sight on the rally circuit. Also in the static area was John Sullivan from Sandycove with the 1973 Dania D5000 self-propelled silage harvester which he has owned since 1974.
When all thought the day was over there was a surprise in store. The combine harvesters were not loading up for the trip home just yet. They were setting up in the next field to cut in formation for the benefit of the many spectators who were taking photographs.
When the cutting was over and the last combine shut down the crowd gathered for the draw to see who would be making the trip to Paris. When the draw was over people gathered around the picnic area. Combine men came to have some well-earned food from the barbeque, a cup of tea or something stronger after the day following their machines.
The talk amongst everyone was about the miraculous break in the weather and how once again De Courceys managed a successful and memorable Harvest Day.The Club would like to thank the McCarthy Family and the Twomey Family for their support in running the event and thanks also to the army of volunteers who every year turn out to help us. We look forward to 2016 and another Harvest.
Prizes from DeCourcey Harvest Day draw as follows.
Holiday to Disneyland Paris.
Sponsored by Barters travel Bandon.
Winner Cally O Leary, Kinsale.
Weekend in Killarney.
Sponsored by International Hotel.
Winner John Sutton.
Golf 4 Ball at Kinsale Golf Club.
Winner Julia Flynn, Ballinadee.
All Ireland Tickets,
Sponsored by Courcey Rovers Rovers GAA Club.
Winner Donal Twomey.
Meal for two,
Speckled Door Old Head.
Winner Martina Coughlan.
This day two weeks the 2015 De Courcey Harvest Working Day takes place. It’s launch took place in Ballinadee last Monday, the 13th of July.
Chairman of De Courcey Classic and Vintage club told how the McCarthy Family, land owners of this years site have a long history associated with Harvesting and Milling.
Members from each group who will benefit from funds raised on the day also said a few words.
Afterwards Corcoran’s Bar in Ballinadee hoisted some refreshments.
De Courcey Classic and vintage Club, building on the success of the Claas Centenary and the New Holland Basildon 50 celebrations are once again planning a major event for the 2015 August Bank Holiday Monday.
The theme for this year’s event will be “A century of Change”. As in previous years it will of course be a working day. Visitors will be able to see teams of horses working with implements and machinery from bygone farming days as well as the giant harvesters of today and everything in between.
Continuing with our commitment to supporting local causes, this year funds raised will once again go to several local groups in De Courcey’s parish but our main beneficiary will be the ‘Friends of Jamie Wall Trust Fund”.
Friends of Jamie Wall
Jamie Wall is a local young teacher who led a very active life and was much involved in the GAA, playing both hurling and football for Cork in Under 21’s and Minors. Unfortunately Jamie suffered a severe illness in 2014 which left him requiring a great deal of care. ‘The friends of Jamie Wall’ fund was set up to raise funds to support Jamie’s rehabilitation and aid in his goal of once again living an independent life.
The team at De Courcey’s look forward to fine weather on the August Bank Holiday Monday and a great day at our new site in Ballinadee to celebrate the ‘Century of Change’.
Bill Chambers PRO.
Contact John 087 2667296 or Martin 087 6060777.
As spring arrives in 2015 the Vintage Club is starting to get ready for the season ahead. First up will be the local St Patricks Day parades.
The club will be attending as many parades as possible to publicise this year’s August Bank Holiday Harvest day.
Kinsale, Bandon and Courtmacsherry parades will be attended as usual and hopefully a few more as well.