News About Castleblayney Co Monaghan

Monaghan Macra to mark 75th Anniversary with Special Function

Following the success of the meeting, which was attended by representatives from each of the three clubs including Stephen Cullinan, who is now recognised as the organisations founder more clubs were set up almost simultaneously throughout the country and finally led in 1944, to the formation of a national organisation – Macra na Feirme.  Its first National Chairman was John Litton and the National Head Office in Athy was officially opened in August 1947.

The organisation in County Monaghan, however, was set up officially a few years later in 1950, when the first County Executive Committee was formed, although clubs had already been formed at local levels before that – in Clones and Glaslough for example.

This historic occasion was attended by representatives from seven clubs; Lough Egish, Clones, Broomfield, Lisdoonan, Magheracloone, Newbliss and Anney and led to the formation of the first County Executive Committee in County Monaghan.

The following officers were elected: Chairman, P. Forde (Lough Egish); Vice-Chairman, J. Fitzpatrick (Clones); Secretary, P. Fealy (Lisdoonan); Organising Secretary, Owen Murphy (Lough Egish); Joint Treasurers, P. McCaghey (Mahgeracloone); and. R. Gibson (Anney).

The organisation grew and developed in the County over the years after its foundation.  Clubs were formed in many areas and young people seventeen years and upwards affiliated to the club where opportunities were afforded to get involved in a myriad of events and activities.  Macra na Feirme ran successful programmes involving farming and rural development in general, but it also had a strong focus on leadership training.  In addition there was a huge emphasis on competitions which included, debating, public speaking, quizzes, stock judging, artistry in the home, drama and the likes.  Many members progressed to hold national executive positions in the organisation.  The first of these was the election of George McMeel, Anketell Grove, as National Vice President in 1961.  Further Vice Presidential success was enjoyed by others, who included Willie McKenna, Truagh 1967; Owen Joe Duffy, Corduff, 1977; Owen Bannigan, Carrickatee, 1991 and Tommy McGuire, Castleblayney 1995.  The latter went on to be the first Ulster and non-farmer to be elected National President in 1997.

Over the years too Monaghan members were rewarded with National Leadership awards in recognition of outstanding leadership qualities and others where recipients of National titles in various competitions, which formed part of the organisations strong competitions programme.

Strong agricultural programmes were delivered throughout the years and successful farm discussion groups continue right through until the present day, with past members continuing to hold key roles in farming organisations and in local co-ops as well as becoming elected members to Monaghan County Council.

One such former member Alo Duffy, who was Macra County Chairman in the years 1982/84 is presently Chairman of the hugely successful and expanding Lakeland Dairies.

Those involved in the planning of the event to mark 75 years of Macra na Feirme are appealing to past members in former clubs to help with the staging of the event.  As there are no official listing of former members, attendance at the event will be dependent on word of mouth and local media sources.  If you wish to attend the event on the night or would like to be involved in its organisation or in attracting members from your former club area please make contact with any of the following; Mary Devlin-Woods, Annalitten; Mary Mullen, Ballinode; David Meegan, Broomfield; Catriona McCabe, Carrickatee; Tommy McGuire, Castleblayney; Noeleen Moen Clontibret; Frank Evans, Corcaghan; Peadar Marron, Corduff; Linda McManus, Clones; Majella Meehan, Donagh; Patricia Goodman Doohamlet; Gerry Dooley, Inniskeen, John Morris, Lisdoonan, Eamon Marron, Magheracloone, Fiona McEntee, (Gilsenan) Mona/Monaghan, Sarah Quigley Newbliss; Kathleen McCoy, Oram; Bernie O’Neill, Shean; Gerard Sherlock/Marie McArdle, Tydavnet; Eamon Mulligan, Threemilehouse and Michael/Matthew Flood, Truagh.

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