Josephine adds leader award to MACRA haul

Irish Independent - Farming - - PHOTO DIARY - CLAIRE FOX Email: farm­[email protected]­de­pen­dent.ie

MISS MACRA Josephine O’ Neill added another piece of sil­ver­ware to her tro­phy cab­i­net when she re­ceived a pres­ti­gious ABP Macra na Feirme lead­er­ship award last week.

The home eco­nomics teacher, who is a mem­ber of Cal­lan Macra in Kilkenny, was crowned Miss Macra in Thurles in Au­gust.

Josephine says that join­ing Macra was in­evitable for her as most of her fam­ily have been mem­bers of the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

“It’s very much a fam­ily thing. I have sib­lings and cousins in Macra and my par­ents were in it, so it’s nice to have that link. Macra means so much to me and join­ing was the best thing I ever did,” says Josephine, who teaches at Cross and Pas­sion Col­lege in Kil­cullen, Co Kil­dare.

“I have so many friends from Macra now all over the coun­try and there’s al­ways some­thing on.”

Josephine says she is not sporty, and Macra of­fers her a chance to try a range of hob­bies.

“I’ve done de­bat­ing and pub­lic speak­ing with Macra. There re­ally is some­thing for ev­ery­one,” she says.

Josephine has been in Macra for four and a half years; dur­ing that time she has been county sec­re­tary of Kilkenny Macra and is cur­rently com­pe­ti­tions of­fi­cer in her own club.

She says the main rea­son she de­cided to en­ter Macra ti­tles was that she was al­ways per­suad­ing other peo­ple to en­ter. She adds: “I felt I couldn’t be try­ing to get peo­ple to en­ter com­pe­ti­tions if I hadn’t en­tered my­self. I won the Miss Macra ti­tles night in Kilkenny and went to Thurles in Au­gust and couldn’t be­lieve when I won the over­all event.

“No­body ever ex­pects to win or en­ters with the in­ten­tion of win­ning. I got the best sup­port from my club.”

Josephine plans to or­gan­ise a char­ity fundraiser next sum­mer dur­ing the school hol­i­days. She is from a beef farm­ing back­ground and en­joys in­form­ing her stu­dents of the im­por­tance of farm to fork and teach­ing them prac­ti­cal skills such as cook­ing and sew­ing.

Ac­co­lades

In May Josephine ap­plied for the Macra lead­er­ship awards and was named as one of the three win­ners of the com­pe­ti­tion last week. Marie Hart­nett from Water­ford City Macra and Han­nah Driver from Tul­low Macra were also awarded the Macra Lead­er­ship ac­co­lades last week.

Speak­ing at the awards Macra pres­i­dent James Healy said: “The Lead­ers of the Year awards recog­nise the lead­er­ship skills of Macra mem­bers within their clubs and wider com­mu­nity.

“They recog­nise the ef­fort, cre­ativ­ity and drive of our mem­bers and are a cru­cial part of the Macra na Feirme lead­er­ship pro­gramme.”

PHOTO: PAUL O’CON­NOR

Josephine O’Neill and Macra pres­i­dent James Healy at the MACRA lead­er­ship awards

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