New Macra na Feirme chief to fight for young farmers ‘to thrive’

Seán Finan says organisation has massive scope for growth and development

The Macra na Feirme website. “Macra na Feirme, as the only representative body for young farmers and rural youth in this country, should be proud of its achievements, especially in the context of the recent CAP young farmer measures.”

The Macra na Feirme website. “Macra na Feirme, as the only representative body for young farmers and rural youth in this country, should be proud of its achievements, especially in the context of the recent CAP young farmer measures.”

 

Farmer and construction project manager Seán Finan has won the Macra na Feirme presidential election.

Mr Finan (31), from Co Roscommon, will succeed another president from the northwest, Kieran O’Dowd of Co Sligo, as leader of the rural youth and young farmers’ organisation.

Mr Finan farms with his father and brothers at Foxborough, Ballinlough, where they run a drystock cattle enterprise.

He has a green certificate in agriculture and a degree in civil engineering.

Macra na Feirme’s outgoing vice-president for the northwest, he was a founding member of Castlerea Macra na Feirme in 2007.

He will be the second Roscommon man to serve in the role. Laurence Fallon was elected as the 22nd president of the organisation in 1991.

Four candidates were in the race to become the body’s 35th president.

The other three candidates were Eamon Cassells from Gillstown, Athboy, Co Meath; Paddy Delaney from Cremorgan, Timahoe, Co Laois and Michelle O’Callaghan from Shanballyrea, Knockraha, Co Cork.

Ms O’Callaghan, a quality assurance chemist and farmer, came second in the contest. All the candidates are well-known in Macra circles and all are involved in farming.

Mr Finan said he was delighted to have been elected.

‘Proud of role’

“We have a great organisation and I am excited about the future of Macra na Feirme and proud of the role we have in the personal development of leaders and people since our foundation,” he said.

“I am passionate about farming and about the future for young farmers.

“Macra na Feirme, as the only representative body for young farmers and rural youth in this country, should be proud of its achievements, especially in the context of the recent CAP young farmer measures.”

He said he would fight for all young farmers and rural youth to ensure they could thrive, thus boosting the rural economy.

Growth potential

Mr Finan said there was massive scope for growth and development in the organisation, and he would be aiming to capitalise on that. “We as an organisation have to sit down and see where the growth potential is.”

Macra members also elected three vice-presidents. Odile Evans from Plattenstown, Arklow, Co Wicklow won the contest for Leinster vice-president, beating Noel Duffy from Ferbane, Co Offaly and Aoife Lanigan from Newpark Drive, Co Kilkenny.

Ms Evans is a final year student in UCD’s food and agribusiness management degree course.

The new northwest vice-president is Caroline O’Dowd from Gurteen, Co Sligo. She is a deputy principal of a primary school and is the wife of the outgoing president. She beat Ray Gilmartin from Corlough, Drumshanbo, Co Leitrim by just one vote.

Gerard Griffin from Fermoy, Co Cork was the only candidate for Munster vice-president, and so was automatically elected.

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.