Change of guard at top level of Macra

There will be a changing of the top guard at the annual general meeting of Macra na Feirme in Charleville next Saturday.

Outgoing president Alan Jagoe, Carrigaline, Co Cork, will complete his two-year term and hand over the chain of office to Kieran O’Dowd, a barrister from Gurteen, Ballymore, Co Sligo.

During the recent Macra election campaign Mr O’Dowd pledged to promote issues and initiatives that would support existing and encourage more young people into farming and the agricultural industry.

He also promised to apply his experience and expertise to develop land mobility, promote the benefits of shared learning and young farmer education, and campaign to retain essential services in rural communities so that living in these areas is a viable lifestyle choice.

Mr O’Dowd further undertook to work with interested parties to develop and provide information and courses for unemployed young people, encourage Macra members to get involved in community events and activities, and promote and encourage positive mental health.

Some 400 delegates from Macra’s 31 regions will attend the conference at Charleville Park Hotel. It is being hosted for the first time by Avondhu region, headed by chairperson Mary Anne Murphy, with Kerry Agribusiness as sponsors.

Mr O’Dowd, who will be Macra’s 34th national president since it was founded in 1944, will be joined by three newly-elected vice- presidents — James Healy, Munster (Donoughmore, Co Cork), Patrick Delaney, Leinster (Portlaoise) and Sean Finan, North West (Castlerea, Co Roscommon).

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