“We decided that we needed to move the show onto solid ground”



“We decided that we needed to move the show onto solid ground”

Full of the Pipe Truckshow Ireland returns to Mondello Park for what promises to be an unforgettable extravaganza of all things truck-related over the weekend of July 13th and 14th. Reenergised event co-founders and organisers-in-chief Colin Hegarty and Kevin Mulqueen are both confident that the 2024 edition – which is being staged on a hard surface at the home of Irish motorsport – will run like clockwork.

While there was no Full of the Pipe show during the summer of 2023, as the organisers were taking a well-deserved time-out to recover from the inordinate investment of energy that went into the record-breaking 2022 event, true to form Colin and Kevin returned from their brief hiatus to organise a scaled-down October Bank Holiday staging of Ireland’s premier gathering of truckers at Mondello Park.

Organised and delivered in less than six weeks, this was the first time FOTP took place at Mondello Park and the first truck show of any kind to be held at this prestigious venue since 2016. Weather-proofed by the fact that it was staged on a hardtop surface, the 2023 event was a resounding success and this gave Colin and Kevin the confidence to proceed with Full of the Pipe Truckshow Ireland 2024 over the weekend of July 13th-14th. 

Full of the Pipe has found a new home and summer feels like summer again!

“The last show we held in Punchestown took a fairly severe toll on us and we really needed a break after that one,” states Colin and Kevin, the men on the ground who are supported by a brilliant team around them when it comes to running Ireland’s biggest and best truck show. “We took a break for twelve months and then took a look at it again when we felt our batteries had been recharged.

“Wet weather can wreak havoc with events staged on grass and we’ve been hit by that ourselves in the past. We decided that we needed to move the show onto solid ground. We held a meeting with Mondello Park and struck up a great working relationship with them. Last year’s show was organised in just six weeks and we had 700 trucks there. It all came together very smoothly and was such a massive success that we are now really looking forward to this year’s show.”

Although Full of the Pipe has always been a brilliantly-organised and wonderfully-delivered experience, it feels like the switch to Mondello Park has the potential to take things to a whole new level. “Last year’s show was a learning curve and a really worthwhile exercise because we now have a very clear plan in place in relation to the lorries coming in and parking up, with everything pre-booked online,” Colin and Kevin continue.

“We have six lanes – three in two different locations – and each will have a wash to look after the vehicles as they enter. A team of 14 lads, overseen by Thomas, will be on hand to look after entry and parking. Those guys do unbelievable work in ensuring that everything runs smoothly and without a hitch.

“Everything is carefully organised and coordinated and the trucks will be shown straight to their parking spots with no delays. If a lad wants to keep a space for his buddy, there will be no problem with that. We’re expecting a large influx of trucks on the Friday night and we are prepared for that. Everything is in place for a smooth and seamless experience. Hopefully the weather will be good – we’re all really looking forward to it.”

Colin and Kevin are completely confident that the show will run like clockwork. “We have the right people in the right places on the ground. Look, this show would not happen without Thomas and those boys. They make it all possible. They know what is happening and if any issues do try to arise, they know how to deal with them. There was a massive surge last year but they were ready for it. There’s plenty of space and all the lads know where to go – everybody who came last year wants to go to the same location they were in last October.

“Generally, with an event of this scale, we would always be nervous going into it but this year I can genuinely say that we are so on the ball and so well-prepared that there are no nerves. It’s all 1,2,3 and it will fall into place smoothly, especially with the new relationship we have with Mondello, who will be looking after the grounds while we look after the lorries. It’s a great partnership.

“We have been doing this together for 15 years and have brought the show to a few different venues but going to Mondello was definitely the right decision and we’re very happy with it. The Mondello team can’t do enough for us. We’re excited about bringing a bigger show there. It’s too early to predict how big the show will be but it’s going to be more than 50 per cent bigger than what we did in October.”

The biggest and best Full of the Pipe yet? “Ah look, you say that every year and there are always doubts but one thing I can say for sure is that this is going to go without any problems because the plans are in place since last October and it’s going to be the same again except multiplied to a larger scale. We couldn’t be better prepared. The Mondello team can’t wait, we can’t wait, and everything is in place.”

And the legion of truckers and truck enthusiasts who take the annual pilgrimage to FOTP also can’t wait – not least because there was a real worry after 2022 that the Full of the Pipe show may have run its course. But Colin and Kevin are back for more… “It’s like a disease and there’s no getting away from it,” they note. “We let it sit and then it started to eat away at us again and we decided to go for the show in October at short notice and that led us here.

“Without the lorry men, this show would not take place. Simple as that. They are the real stars of Full of the Pipe. We really appreciate them coming to the show and taking the time out for it and spending their money on the weekend. There’s no getting away from the cost and it’s a big undertaking to get the lorry up to the spec required for Full of the Pipe. It’s also a big ask for the lorry man to go back out in the lorry on a Friday evening after working all week. Instead of going home, they take to the road again and head to Full of the Pipe. That’s no small thing and we truly appreciate the commitment.

“Also, our sponsors and everybody who displays at the show. There would be no Full of the Pipe without the sponsors who stand by us and support us,” they conclude. “Kings of the Road is on board as a new official sponsor this year and we are also welcoming back all our regular sponsors – Reflect Autocare, Bridgestone, Derry Bros, Schmitz Cargobull, Moffett, Moran Signs and Portlaoise Springs.”

“Since we announced the show for this July, the response has been phenomenal,” Colin and Kevin add. “It’s going to be a great show and we’re very excited about returning to Mondello. October was very positive and we were very lucky with the weather for the time of year. Running the event on a hardcourt surface makes all the difference, both for the truck display and also for the public coming in.

“We’re back again and looking forward to it. It’s all down to the truckers who have supported us and without them there wouldn’t be a show. We’re going to have all the usual attractions, including a live action arena in the middle. There’ll be a decibel test because that’s very popular and a few other bits and pieces to keep everyone entertained. With it being the home of motor sport, we might do a bit of drifting and something in the line of supercars.”

The excellent venue is certain to add to the overall experience. “We have always gone to well-established venues and this one definitely falls into that category,” Colin and Kevin comment. “It’s a perfect venue – the venue suits the show and the show suits the venue. The entire team at Mondello have been excellent to work with and we’re fully expecting it to be another very successful show.

“We’re very grateful to all our sponsors for their help. The cost of putting on a show like this is huge. That’s just the way it’s gone. Safety, security and advertising are all big costs and you need all of these to get the public in the gate. Unfortunately, this means we can’t sustain the show at a low cost and we have to base the cost of entry on the cost of running the show.

“We do our best to look after and accommodate everybody as best we can. The show is going to be on tar and there’s free parking and free washes onsite. We would love to have every truck in there for free if we could but obviously that isn’t possible as everything we provide comes with a cost. But we are going to provide value for money by putting on a great show and here’s hoping the weather is good to us come July!”