The Aghavea-Aughintaine parish development committee on the Tyrone-Fermanagh border has launched a farming-themed raffle to raise funds for the renovation of two of the parish’s churches.

The draw was launched with a tractor run on Sunday 4 July, which drew over 200 participants from the parish and neighbouring counties.

The draw was meant to have been held last March, but was postponed with the onset of pandemic restrictions.


Fundraising began three years ago for the restoration works, with renovations of one of the churches almost complete.

An estimated total €850,000 must be raised to cover the two projects, parish fundraising committee member Damien McManus said.

“We are a very rural area with two-thirds of the parish in Fermanagh and one-third in Tyrone. The farming community would be very strong in the parish,” said Damien.

“About €400,000 has been raised since the beginning of the fundraising efforts and we warmly welcome all the donations, especially when people are under pressure from COVID,” he added.

Raffle prizes

A restored Massey Ferguson TVO donated to parish fundraising efforts by local man and vintage tractor enthusiast Thomas Hughes set the theme for the charity draw.

The addition of a pedigree Limousin heifer soon followed, when farmer Kevin McDonnell, supported by a group of local farmers, put the animal towards the renovation raffle.

The delay in proceeding with the fundraiser did have one upside.

McDonnell’s heifer went in-calf last year and the heifer will now arrive at the winning farmer’s gate with a pedigree bull calf at foot.

A number of cash prizes are also available for the lucky winning ticket holders.

Tickets are now available online or from one of the fundraising committee members. Online tickets can be found here.