Macra na Feirme to elect a new president

Four candidates are in the race to succeed outgoing president Kieran O’Dowd

Rural youth and young farmers' organisation Macra na Feirme will elect its 35th president today

. The election count will take place at its headquarters in the Irish Farm Centre, Dublin.

Four candidates are in the race to succeed outgoing president Kieran O'Dowd. They are: Eamon Cassells, Athboy, Co Meath, Paddy Delaney, Timahoe, Co Laois, Seán Finan, Ballinlough, Co Roscommon, and Michelle O'Callaghan, Knockraha, Co Cork.

All the candidates are prominent Macra na Feirme members and are all involved in farming.



Mr Cassells is a lab technician at the National Cattle Breeding Centre and part-time suckler farmer. Ms O’Callaghan is a quality assurance chemist with Pfizer and partner in her family farm.

Mr Finan is a beef farmer and construction project manager with Sisk, while Mr Delaney is a beef, sheep and tillage farmer and a malting barley plant supervisor. Ms O’Callaghan will be the fourth woman to run for president, but only one – Catherine Buckley – has won the contest. She was elected president in 2007.

Macra na Feirme members will also elect three vice-presidents.

The candidates for Leinster vice-president are: Noel Duffy, Ferbane, Co Offaly, Odile Evans, Arklow, Co Wicklow, and Aoife Lanigan, Newpark Drive, Co Kilkenny.


There is only one candidate for Munster vice-president, Gerard Griffin from Fermoy, Co Cork, while the northwest vice-president’s position is being sought by Ray Gilmartin from Drumshanbo, Co Leitrim, and Caroline O’Dowd from Gurteen, Co Sligo. She is the wife of the outgoing president.

The elected candidates will take up their two-year term of office at the organisation’s AGM on May 9th.

Macra na Feirme has more than 5,000 members in about 200 clubs around the State. Each club has a vote in the election.

Alison Healy

Alison Healy

Alison Healy is a contributor to The Irish Times