Holy Cow! Batman in Laois tractor tour challenge this Halloween

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

Batman

Yes Halloween is still going to be fun this year despite Covid-19 restrictions, because Farmer Batman is coming to the rescue in Laois.

Dastardly duo Patrick Kelly (Batman) and his trusty red 1962 Massey Ferguson (you guessed it, Robin) are planning to take on a road challenge to circumnavigate Laois in one day on Halloween, October 31.

It won't be an easy task to cover the 253km, as Robin's top speed is 26km/h, averaging in at a gentle 18km/h.

By day Patrick is a massage therapist from Castletown, and a former farmer. He will don his full batman costume including cape and mask as well as his peaked cap and wellies.

The good citizens of Laois are asked to keep their eyes peeled for Batman, with big signs on his tractor proclaiming "One Tractor, One County, One Mission'. Motorists are asked to give him a beep if they see him. 

He will set off at 6am from Castletown, taking in... Borris-in-Ossory, Ballaghmore, Camross, up through the Slieve Blooms, Clonaslee, Rosenallis, Mountmellick, Portarlington, Vicarstown, Stradbally, Graiguecullen, Crettyard, Ballinakill, Abbeyleix, Durrow, Cullahill, Rathdowney, Errill, Knock and finally home to the batcave in Castletown. 

"14 hours will do it. If there is a Level 4 called and we have to stay within 5km of home I'll do the same distance over and back," Patrick promised.

It is all in aid of the Irish Cancer Society. Patrick has held a cancer research fundraiser for the past four years, marking the anniversary of the death of his mother Mai on October 31 2016.

"Usually I donate my work that day to cancer research but this year with Covid-19 I wanted to think outside the box and avoid close contact with people. I still have my late dad's tractor, it's old school, just four wheels, a cab and engine, no such thing as suspension, if you hit a bump you feel it. But it's still more reliable than I am," he said.

"My mother was diagnosed in June and passed away in October. You wouldn't want to see your worst enemy go through it. If I can improve the quality of life for anyone I'll be happy. She would say I'm nuts for doing this, but she would back me all the way because it's such a good cause.

"There is a lot of uncertainty and sadness this year, and cancer diagnoses are being affected because screening has been delayed, so I decided to dress up and have some fun," he said.

"I'll be in Hollywood next year I'll be the new Batman," he joked.

Find his JustGiving online fundraiser here.