The St Patrick’s Day Tractor Debate

Leitrim Observer readers are undecided, should tractors be allowed in St Patrick’s Day parades or not!

Leitrim Observer readers are undecided, should tractors be allowed in St Patrick’s Day parades or not!

Although this week’s question is not a national hot topic, the issue of loud tractor ‘floats’ and lorries passing through our annual Paddy’s Day parades is something everyone has an opinion on.

Yet despite the large number of comments received on the question on the Leitrim Observer Facebook, the support for and against was neck on neck, as we went to press this week.

For those who couldn’t decide between the controversial question, one issue emerged, without tractors we may not have St Patrick Day parades at all on March 17 in small towns and villages.

In the No camp, John O’Dowd asked “why can’t people dress up and provide floats like they do in Dublin?”

Trevor Prendergast agreed, “A tractor with a balloon tied to it is not that impressive.” Emma Corry added to the debate saying, “Not if they continually beep horns so that a) you can’t hear music and b) little kiddies are scared.”

Fiona F Forde enthusiastically said “The tractors are the best part!” Owen Blackburn went along with that sentiment, commenting “Of course, tractors are brilliant. When was the last time you saw an ugly John Deere or MF tractor.”

But Imelda Robertson said “As long as they’re decorated and representing various community groups. Have banners on the tractors too!”

Mary Mc Garry, voted yes for tractors - but only if they are vintage, “I think vintage definitely because they are usually being driven by people who do fund-raising for charity the new ones are usually brought for advertising purposes only (which are on tv at every given ad break) and are just plain boring.”

Amanda Keating summed up a lot of people saying “Without them there would not be a parade in some places!”

And emigrant Stephen Murphy commented “A question about taking tractors off the streets of Leitrim? Have we morphed into some fancy resort since I’ve been away?!”

And the great tractor debate continues!