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JULY 2019
Guild elect Amy Forde
The Guild of Agricultural Journalists of Ireland recently
held their AGM in Hillsborough, County Down. The
Guild, which was established in 1961 is an all-Ireland
body with a membership across the Island of 180
Last month's AGM, saw Amy Forde, deputy news editor
of the Irish Farmers Journal elected chairman of the
guild, with Maria Daly from Alltech elected secretary,
and Elaine Crosse from Bord Bia re-elected as treasurer.
The other members of the committee are Ciara Leahy,
Gemma Smyth, Patrick Donohue, Miriam Atkins, Liam
Lavelle and Niall Madigan. The Guild organises CPD
events throughout the year and bi-annually holds
the Guild of Agricultural Journalism Awards and the
Michael Dillon lecture, which this year will be held in
November and is in partnership with Kerry Foods.
Macra celebrates its 75th anniversary at Áras An
The President, Michael D Higgins
held his final Summer Garden party
of the year last month and over 200
Macra members attended the event,
which was held to celebrate Macra na
Feirme's 75th birthday.
It was a `who's who' of the young
farmers body with representatives of
many of the organisations established
by Macra in attendance, including
Damian McDonald of IFA (and former
CEO of Macra), Peter Byrne of FRS
and IFAC's John Donohue. Also at the
Áras were several former presidents
of Macra including Hugh Ryan of
Laois, who last year completed a long
and successful sojourn on the board
of FBD. Sean Eustace of Dublin was
there as were Carlow's Seamus O'
Brien, Seamus Hayes of Tipperary, and
Richard Kennedy and Kieran Curtin
from Limerick. Former presidents
Laurence Fallon MCC and IrBEA
chief Sean Finan from Roscommon
attended as did Colm Markey of
Louth, now also a county council
representative. The just retired Macra
president James Healy kept up the
Cork side along with Tommy Sheahan
and AgriAware chairman Alan Jagoe.
Another notable presence was Maeve
Bracken, a lifelong Macra supporter
who currently devotes much of her
time to helping the people of Haiti.
IFP Media founder and owner David
Markey was there to celebrate with
Macra as was Matt O' Kee e, editor
Irish Farmers Monthly and also a
former Macra president.
Despite the inclement weather, the
attendees at the Áras event enjoyed
themselves immensely with plenty of
food and entertainment provided by
the generous host. President Michael
D Higgins gave an impressive and
wide-ranging address to the Macra
gathering and spoke eloquently about
the value of Macra na Feirme and the
role it continues to play in Irish society.
The President was followed ably by
recently elected Macra President,
Thomas Du y, who spoke of the
challenges ahead for Irish agriculture
and the need to feed an additional
two billion people by 2050. Thomas
outlined how Macra is making a real
di erence in the lives of thousands
of young people and highlighted the
increasing diversity of Irish society by
also speaking in Polish as well as Irish
and English.
Du y, from Virginia, is the 37th Macra
na Feirme national president. He
displays passion for the organisation
and his dairying and environmental
background will surely serve him well
over the next two years. Thomas says
he intends to bring to the job the "the
drive, passion and ambition that is
required to ensure that in its 75th year
and beyond, Macra will be the voice of
rural youth and agriculture."
Incoming Guild of Agricultural Journalists of Ireland chair Amy Forde
with outgoing chair Ciara Leahy.
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