Catherine Buckley, president, said it takes training and development very seriously and debating is a key skill which all members are encouraged to develop.
“The debating competition encourages Macra members to confidently debate an issue and develop skills which they can take with them in to other aspects of their lives,” she said.
Forum on Europe chairman Maurice Hayes said it is particularly pleased the European Union will be among the topics to be discussed.
The first rounds will take place on March 14 at two venues. One will be Springhill Court Hotel, Kilkenny, where Ballycoog of Wicklow will debate against Innishannon of Carberry (Cork) on the topic “That tribunals should be abolished because they benefit nobody but lawyers”.
The second debate of the evening will be between Knockraha, Seandun (Cork) and Athboy (Meath), who will debate the topic “That planning permission should not be granted for one-off houses”.
The second venue is Ardfinnan Community Hall, Co Tipperary. Nenagh (north Tipperary) and Shannonside (Limerick) will debate on tribunals and Ladysbridge, Imokilly (Cork) will engage with Ballyhoura Avondhu (Cork) on the one-off houses issue.
Macra has, meanwhile, launched a patrons’ membership campaign. Anyone over 35 is eligible. Funds raised through the 40 per annum fee will be used to support and deliver services. Local clubs will also receive a rebate on every patron member signed up.