By Joe Barrett
THE virus may be causing havoc in all corners of the world, but members of the eight branches of Macra na Féirme in Laois have been keeping themselves busy over the past few months.
For those who may not know about Macra, it is a youth organisation for 17 to 35-year-olds. The eight clubs in Laois are Camross, Clough, Durrow/Abbeyleix, East Laois, Mountmellick, Portlaoise, Rathdowney and Slieve Bloom.
Macra supports the rural youth farming society through social, sports and theatre events, economic and personal growth and wellbeing development. It also represents interests and developments in today’s society and assists in the development and implementation of relevant policies and programmes at national, regional and local levels by advocating on their behalf.
The organisation offers various sporting events and competitions throughout the year, such as hurling, gaelic football, soccer and tag rugby, as well as music and drama through national talent competitions. Throughout the year, Macra hosts various social events, both at local level through clubs and at county and nationally, i.e, ‘Mr Personality,’ ‘Queen of the Land,’ ‘Blue Jeans Country Queen’ and ‘Miss Macra.’
PRO for Laois Macra na Feirme Michaela McCarthy said that the county clubs would like to congratulate Mountmellick Macra na Féirme on reaching the Macra na Feirme club of the year finals, which takes place remotely on 24 October.
Mountmellick Macra Club chairperson Micheal Gorman said: “Reaching the finals is a huge achievement for our club and a testament to our members’ commitment to Mountmellick Macra. It’s an honour to represent our club and Laois in the finals.’’
Club secretary Mairead McEvoy said: “We are always looking for new members and even though it will be a different year for the club, new members are always welcome.”
The Mountmellick club has had a busy year with an active badminton club, taking part in a variety of Macra competitions, as well as the many social activities that make up the Macra calendar. The club ran a successful fundraiser, a two-act drama Fortunes and Misfortunes.
Another highlight of the year the annual pantomime Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in their hall. They also took part in online competitions, such as Macra’s talent quest and virtual stock judging.
The club also won the question time All-Ireland final. The team was comprised of Jennifer Dooley, Áine Delaney, Nikolaj Theusen and Aidan Moore.
Best new member is a competition within Macra which is presented to an individual who has recently joined a club and has been deemed to have made a significant contribution to that club. This year’s winner in Laois is Emma Weston from Portlaoise Macra. She now goes forward to the national final of best new member competition on 24 October.