Camross woman a natural leader

Alison Holmes brought national recognition to Camross Macra when she was awarded a prestigious prize for her leadership skills last week.

Alison Holmes brought national recognition to Camross Macra when she was awarded a prestigious prize for her leadership skills last week.

The physiotherapist and keen Macra member was one of just three people to win the Macra na Feirme National Leadership Award, whittled down from 150 entrants for the competition.

At a reception hosted by Bank of Ireland in Dublin last Tuesday, January 24, she was presented with a specially commissioned commemorative trophy and a travel bursary worth €1,000.

“The calibre was unbelievable, It was a lovely ceremony and my family and friends were all there to support me,” said Alison, who is thinking of visiting Australia or New Zealand with her prizemoney.

She works daily on the family farm in Camross, and is currently studying for a certificate in agriculture with Teagasc. Since she joined Camross Macra five years ago, she has won three leadership prizes, but this is her first national award.

“When I joined, the club was only getting going. We have won a lot of All Ireland titles already. It takes up a lot of time, but for the time you put in you get a lot out, there’s always something going on, there’s never a dull moment,” she says.

Alison is also secretary of Laois Macra and earlier this year she edited their book “Celebrating 65 Years”, a huge task which judges no doubt took into consideration when choosing her as a prizewinner.

The winners were judged by a panel of six, including Irish Farmer’s Journal’s Mairead Lavery, former Macra president Colm Markey and Bank of Ireland’s Sean Farrell, while RTE’s Damien O’Reilly was guest speaker on the night.

Alan Jagoe, Macra na Feirme national president talked of the importance of the awards.

“They recognise the achievements of club and county leaders within our organisation and provide a real incentive for the development of club programmes. It is important in today’s environment to encourage and recognise people who are making a difference and leading in their community” he said.