Se­crets of suc­cess

How one of Co Cork’s top Macra na Feirme clubs wins award af­ter award

Irish Examiner - Farming - - COMMENT - Eoin Mccarthy

Freemount Macra has had phe­nom­e­nal suc­cess in pub­lic speak­ing and de­bat­ing com­pe­ti­tions at na­tional level in re­cent years. This is due to their men­tor­ing sys­tem, which has ex­isted through the gen­er­a­tions.

Their suc­cess in these com­pe­ti­tions con­tin­ued un­abated re­cently when their pub­lic speak­ing team of Siob­han Ring and twin sisters Breda and Noreen Stritch won the All-ire­land fi­nal in Castle­bar, with the best speaker award go­ing to Noreen. Noreen and Breda Stritch comes from a fam­ily steeped in Macra. Their younger brother Thomas, also a mem­ber of Freemount, was part of the se­nior de­bat­ing team that won the All-ire­land in 2014.

In ad­di­tion to their suc­cess in 2014, Freemount won the 2012 and 2016 se­nior de­bat­ing com­pe­ti­tions.

Noreen Stritch told the Ir­ish Ex­am­iner that club mem­bers are will­ing to pass on their knowl­edge when mem­bers are pre­par­ing for com­pe­ti­tions. They are men­tored by past or present mem­bers, who have an in­ter­est in a spe­cific area, and are al­ways will­ing to lend a help­ing hand to new teams. “When you par­tic­i­pate in de­bat­ing, people are in­ter­ested in what you have to say and your ideas, they are very en­cour­ag­ing. “Ob­vi­ously they are not go­ing to write the speech for you, but they will read over the speech when you have it writ­ten, and will give you feedback on it,” she said. While prac­tic­ing for pub­lic speak­ing, club mem­bers are also en­cour­aged to find their voice and to use it and not be afraid to of­fer their opin­ion. “It’s never like anything you say would be con­sid­ered silly, ev­ery­one is very re­spect­ful of what you have to say, al­ways there to lis­ten, al­ways there to en­cour­age.” she said. Although their path to the fi­nal was un­con­tested in both the Avondhu re­gional round and the semi-fi­nal, Siob­han, Breda and Noreen were look­ing for­ward to par­tic­i­pat­ing in the fi­nal.

“I know we were very lucky to get that road to the fi­nal, so the first com­pet­i­tive night we ac­tu­ally had was the night of the fi­nal.” “Ob­vi­ously, it’s a great honor to be in the fi­nal. I think we just de­cided that we were go­ing to give it our best shot”. “There is al­ways a bit of nerves, but no, we were just de­lighted to be there, to have the op­por­tu­nity to present. “I think we all en­joyed lis­ten­ing to the other speeches, and def­i­nitely, none of us could call it, none of us thought we had def­i­nitely won, we felt that the stan­dard was very high” she said.

Macra Na­tional Pres­i­dent James Healy with the Freemount club’s pub­lic speak­ing team of twin sisters Breda and Noreen Stritch, and Siob­han Ring, who won the All-ire­land fi­nal in Castle­bar.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.