Jody O’Neill was loaded with horse feed destined for stud farms in Newmarket, England, when Paul O’Callaghan caught up with him at his home in Graiguenamanagh, County Kilkenny in the southeast of Ireland. Moloney Transport, owned by cousins of Jody, operate a fleet of 13 Volvos and three Renaults in the agri-food sector, including this T-High 520 that Jody has driven from new.
The O’Neill name is synonymous with transport in the area, with both his father and uncle operating trucks on continental work in the past. Although he completed a degree in transport, Jody drove on long distance work for his uncle Liam O’Neill while in his twenties, loving the adventure as well as the temperature in the sunnier climes of Spain and Portugal. Following this, he traded the steering wheel for an office desk, working as a transport planner, although looking at trucks in far flung destinations on his computer screen made him pine for the open road once again.
A normal week involves farm deliveries in Ireland with a trip to the UK every fortnight. The 39-year-old says he enjoys meeting farming folk, as well as observing the different landscapes and farmers at work in the fields throughout the seasons. On the negative side, he said finding parking in the UK can be a nightmare and he tries to avoid the fast food lifestyle and negative vibes that he finds some drivers get bogged down in.
As Gaelic games are Ireland’s No.1 sport, it seemed apt to use this as our vexing question: Hurling or football? Of the two codes, he says he prefers hurling – no coincidence, seeing as his native county has won more All Ireland competitions than anyone else.