FIVE YEARS ago Mark Tierney, Caherconlish, started the first Limerick Diecast Model and Diorama Show in the South Court Hotel.
It would have been easy to scoff at the idea that crowds would come to see model tractors, cars and trucks but last year close on 3,000 walked through the doors. Mark is expecting even more this Sunday, September 13 from 10am to 6am in the South Court.
“We were amazed by the numbers that came in our first year as we didn’t know what to expect, and it has just kept on growing. There has been a huge increase in the popularity of diecast models in recent years and there are many collectors in County Limerick,” said Mark.
He turned his childhood passion into a business when he formed M&M Diecast Models and now his show is the biggest in Munster.
“There will be a huge number of tractors, cars, trucks, trains, you name it, on display. They are incredibly detailed and are a scaled model of the real thing. We are not forgetting the girls either as there will be dolls houses too,” said Mark.
The dioramas are incredibly popular as the exhibitors create settings for their models like a tractor in a farm-yard.
“All ages come a long - from little children to those in their nineties. There is one man with a circus diorama coming from Wicklow and he is 93-years-old.
“We have a twist on it this year with John Cusack, from Fedamore, coming along to form the Massey Ferguson emblem with 100 tractors. He was involved with the Greybridge Classic Club in 2012 when they did it using real size tractors at their harvest fair.
“Now he is going to do it in die-cast form with 100 Massey Ferguson tractors - from vintage ones right up to the modern day. He is a big collector and enthusiast. It will be a brilliant feature,” said Mark.
Since day one Mark has donated proceeds to Limerick Animal Welfare as it is a charity close to his own heart.
Thousands have been handed over by Mark and volunteers also do their own collection on the day.