Most sheds across the country feature the same old items; gardening equipment, bicycles, the odd rusty wheelbarrow and the other forgotten products that are occasionally dragged out when the sun shines. The Monaghans’ shed in Kilrooskey is an entirely different matter however, as it features two beautifully refurbished David Brown tractors, which were originally manufactured in the 1960s.
Michael Monaghan and his sons, Paul and John, have worked together to refurbish old machines over the past number of years and boast over ten restorations, including vintage cars.
Michael started in the late 1970s and has since passed down the passion to his sons. John says it has become an all-consuming hobby.
“He (Michael) started in the late 1970s, early ‘80s, but it really took off in the ‘90s here. My first project was an old Ford Anglia when I was 16. I’m a Garda in Mullingar so this is a hobby but something that we really enjoy. Myself and my brother Paul got the bug from our father!”
Paul provided some background into the origins of the two very rare machines.
“The tractors were widely used in Ireland and the UK by tillage farmers for ploughing, harrowing and that. My father Michael purchased the red implematic 880 in Cavan back in 1990 for a small fee. It originally came from the famous David Brown factory in Meltham Mills in Huddersfield.
“John started to restore the machine in September 2015 with the aim of returning it to its former glory. It involved a massive amount of time, dedication and commitment but it was fully completed in March 2017,” he said.
John highlighted just how rare the red model is: “The 3 cyclinder version is extremely rare. Only 6,520 of these were manufactured so you couldn’t put a price on this”.
Paul himself purchased the white selectamatic 880 in Sixmilebridge, Co. Clare in May 2017, not long after the newly-restored red machine had been unveiled.
First manufactured in 1966 and powered by a 44 HP engine until 1971, 33,378 units of this particular model were manufactured. Paul started the restoration that May and, following a painstaking summer of time and dedication, unveiled the finished article in September of that year.
John and Paul have had the pleasure of driving the refurbished tractors at both the Lanesboro St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Roscommon Easter Parade this year, and they hope to be able to exhibit them at future events around the county.
The brothers were very grateful for all the help they have received in breathing new life into the old machines.
“We both wish to pay a special thank you to both Joe Coyle and our father, Michael Monaghan for their time, dedication, patience and support throughout our David Brown restoration projects. We will continue to bring both tractors to shows, parades and other events in the future along with restoring more David Brown tractors to build our collection,” said Paul.