MACRA na Feirme is one of the country’s great success stories.
Basically it brings young people together on five main interests: agriculture, sports, travel, public speaking, community involvement and performing arts.
Stabannon Macra Club is a thriving club with up to 25 young people taking part in all of these activities.
One of their members, Andrew Agnew, has just reached the national finals of the Macra Mr Personality competition which will be held this Friday and Saturday 15 and 16 April at the Springhill Court Hotel Kilkenny.
Andrew is representing Louth in this national final.
“We went from the club stage into the county round,” said Andrew. “You go before a panel of three judges.
“It’s an informal interview. They are looking for personality points, and your willingness to promote Macra in the county and elsewhere.
“It’s a really big thing in the county and nationally, and I’m really looking forward to the final.”
Stabannon Macra is now in its fourth year. It’s a club that has something to offer everyone from 17 to 35.
“It’s not all about farming,” said Andrew. “It’s also about leadership, sport, the arts, developing self-confidence and getting involved in the community.”
Getting involved in the community is something Andrew feels strongly about.
“Helping the community is important,” he said. “This is something I think is very worthwhile and one day I would hope to get involved in local politics. I think it matters.”
Stabannon Macra took an active part in the organisation’s Know Your Neighbour Weekend which was held last year.
This was a very successful nationwide campaign designed to bring people together and re-establish the the social fabric of parish communities which was greatly eroded by the self-centred lifestyle that emerged during the Celtic Tiger years.
The club has also been involved in most of the national Macra competitions including the very popular Blue Jeans Country Queen.
And this year’s county Louth entry for that event is Stabannon Macra member Julieanne McKeown.
Other competitions include, debating, drama, various sporting events and quizzes.
Macra has long been established as the experts in quiz events. The table quiz events that do so much for charity fund raising, owe their origins to the popularity of the quiz events established by Macra.
The club meets every second Friday at Stabannon Hall.Their sponsors are AA Gardening (087-3537012) and can be contacted on Facebook or through Competition Officer Catherine Kelledy: 086-0314107.