The results of the Macra na Feirme Presidential and Vice-Presidential elections were announced in the Irish Farm Centre, Dublin, last week and the North West region successfully claimed the National President title.
Seán Finan from Castlerea, Co. Roscommon, a founding member of Castlerea Macra since 2007 and currently National Treasurer and North West Vice-President, has been declared the 35th Macra na Feirme National President.
Caroline O’Dowd from South Sligo Macra was declared the winner in the North-West race, succeeding Seán in his role. Caroline is the wife of outgoing president, Kieran O’Dowd.
Speaking after the results of the election, current National President, Kieran O’Dowd, who presided over the election said, “Best wishes to all the candidates. This was a great election, highlighting the best of Macra in terms of leadership, debate and enthusiasm. I’m confident that Seán, and the three Vice Presidents, will serve the organisation well.”
Seán’s and Caroline’s terms of office will run from their inauguration at the Macra na Feirme national AGM to be held on May 9th in Loughrea, Co. Galway, until May 2017.
Followed his election, Seán said, “I’m honoured and delighted to have been elected the 35th President of Macra na Feirme. I have enjoyed every minute of the campaign over the last few months, travelling around the country, meeting members and listening to their views and opinions of our great organisation. I look forward to serving the members of Macra na Feirme as president over the next two years.”
Mr. Finan said, “I’m 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.
“I will fight for all young farmers and rural youth to ensure that they can grow and develop their businesses, making a vital contribution to agriculture and the rural economy.”
Seán becomes the 35th president of Macra na Feirme and the second Roscommon man to serve in the role, following in the footsteps of Laurence Fallon who was the 22nd president from 1991-1993.
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney TD welcomed the election of Seán Finan as the 35th President of Macra na Feirme saying, “I’d like to congratulate Seán Finan on his election as President of Macra and look forward to working with him during the exciting time ahead for the agri-food sector in Ireland”.
“Macra is a hugely important organisation in rural Ireland. It plays a very active role both socially and educationally for young people the length and breadth of the country providing a wide variety opportunities and activities both farming and non farming related.
“I’d also like to take this opportunity to recognise the significant contribution made by the outgoing President Kieran O’Dowd. Kieran has worked tirelessly to represent the interests of young farmers over the past 2 years during a very dynamic time for the sector” the Minister added.
The Minister also congratulated the three new vice-presidents, Caroline O’Dowd, Odile Evans and Gerard Griffin who will take up their positions alongside the president-elect at Macra’s AGM in May.