Fond memories were recalled and great achievements noted at Laois Macra na Feirme’s celebratory night last Friday.
The seven Laois clubs met in The Heritage Hotel, Portlaoise for an anniversary ball to mark 65 years of the organisation in the county. Over 350 guests attended the gala night, with special guests including current Macra president Alan Jagoe and IFA county chair Peter Luttrell.
Since it began in Clonaslee in 1943, Macra has grown and adapted with the changing times, while continuing to provide social and educational links for young farmers and indeed for the wider community.
The past 65 years has seen Laois Macra grow and diversify to meet the needs of its membership and their communities, a successful recipe to last the test of time. Today Laois is one of the strongest regions in the organisation nationally and is as well respected now as it was in the 1940s. This must be attributed to its members past and present who have put such efforts into the organisation.
Laois Macra has produced no less than three former members who served as national president, Hugh Ryan, Padraig Walshe and Michael Gowing, all of whom attended the function. They spoke of their time and experiences in Macra, and also praised the current organisation.
It was a night for everyone to enjoy, including present, past and even founding members. Over the course of the evening, the guests recalled countless events that were hosted by Laois Macra over the years. Also in attendance were representatives from Glanbia, the main sponsors of the anniversary ball.
Brid Walsh, chairperson of the organising committee, spoke on the night.
“This is a testament to the foresight, dedication and continuity of Laois Macra for the past 65 years that has made Laois county one of the most vibrant regions in the county,” she said.
The organising committee included Brid Walsh, JP Fenlon, Alison Holmes, Alan Davis, Catherine Walshe, Julieanne Walshe, Gemma Goulding, Paddy Delaney, Diarmuid Delaney and Caroline Bergin.
To mark the celebrations, all who attended received a copy of a book detailing the history of Macra in Laois, The specially produced book includes club memoirs and photographs, and is the result of months of work by a dedicated subcommittee of Macra members.
See pictures on pg 37.