The launch of new club Ennistymon Macra has taken place online via Zoom, attracting a sizeable attendance.
The launch of the North Clare based club brings to four the total number of active clubs within the county (along with Ennis, Sixmilebridge/Kilmurry and the recently launched Kilrush).
The launch of the Ennistymon club was led by Clare Macra chairman Cillian Griffey who gave an introduction as to what Macra is about – a national social organisation catering for 17-35 year olds with a wide range of interests including agriculture, sports, public speaking, drama/capers, volunteer work, travel opportunities and festivals.
The structure of Macra was outlined right from club level up to National Executive with competitions in place at each level within that framework. He also illustrated the leadership opportunities available within Macra including advocating for young farmers at European level meeting MEPs/Commissioners, and reminded attendees of various initiatives like Irish Farmers Journal, IFAC, ICMSA and Foroige that were all originally established by Macra. Subsequently, a short “Clare Macra Year in the Life “ video was played to the audience showcasing the various activities.
Guest speaker on the evening was Lahinch resident Ruairi McKiernan. Ruairi is the bestselling author of “Hitching for Hope”, a former presidential appointee to the Council of State, and founder of the SpunOut.ie national youth information website. He described himself as “a passionate champion for active citizenship” and noted his pleasure in being able to speak to Macra members on the night. He outlined how community and “meitheal” (co-operative system of working together) have been central themes in his life. He feels Macra embodies this community spirt in terms of how clubs and counties interact while simultaneously enabling personal development.
Macra National President Thomas Duffy and Munster Vice-President Sean Wallace also attended the launch. Both congratulated everyone in getting Ennistymon Macra up and running and wished the new club committee well for the year ahead. Thomas highlighted that Ennistymon were the first ever club in Macra history to be launched in a virtual, online environment, and this was testament to the hard work and creativity shown by everyone involved within Clare Macra. Senator Roisin Garvey was also in attendance and noted how she was “blown away” by the scale and variety of opportunities that Macra had to offer young people in the locality, and that she was available to assist the newly formed club in whatever way she can.
Elected to the new Ennistymon Macra committee on the night were Eoin Collins (Chairperson), Bryan Hughes (Secretary), Dan McInerney (Treasurer) and Mary-Kate Clancy (PRO). Eoin commented that “It’s an honour for me to be elected as Chairperson of Ennistymon Macra.
There is an excellent range of activities and opportunities available through Macra to all young adults in the locality. There are significant geographic opportunities for this club in terms of the local population Ennistymon can pull in from all over North Clare and I urge anyone thinking about joining us to just bite the bullet and go for it!”
Clare Macra PRO Kieran Harvey added some interesting historical background noting that the original Ennistymon Macra was founded almost exactly 55 years ago (30th Jan 1966) in the old Town Hall (where the Community Centre was later built). His father Maurice Harvey won an election against well known matchmaker Willie Daly to become the club’s first ever chairperson. Kieran noted it was lovely to see the club back up and running 55 years later and wished the new club committee well going forward.
Anyone looking to get involved with Ennistymon Macra were advised to join online at https://macra.ie/pages/join-macra and also to check out the Ennistymon Macra Facebook page.