Rural Youth

The main aim of the Rural Youth Committee is to develop Macras role and image as an organisation for all young people. The committee consults members, undertakes research and executes lobbying and public awareness campaigns on a wide range of issues that affect young people. 

The Rural Youth Committee devises policy on relevant issues for adoption by Macras National Council and pursues implementation of these policies. The sub-committee is responsible for promoting Macra's participation in local rural development initiatives and devises national policy on rural development. The sub-committee also has responsibility for the travel programme.

Key Areas for 2015/2016:

1. Youth Employment & Education

2. Health & Wellbeing

3. Travel & Exchanges

Some Achievements of the Rural Youth Committee:

Mental Health Seminar

The “Lets Talk” seminar took place on the Sunday of the 2015 Rally in the Rochestown Park Hotel, Cork. Speakers on the day included brave Macra na Feirme members Paddy Hipwell who spoke and read out his poem ‘Footprints in the Sand’ and Ellen Downey a See Change Ambassador from Mitchelstown Macra and Junior Health Minister Kathleen Lynch TD who spoke at the Seminar. Sorcha Lowery of See Change was also on the panel. There was good audience interaction. Green Ribbons were distributed at the seminar and at the end of the seminar each person wrote a negative thought on an eco-friendly luggage tag which was then attached to a green balloon. Everyone gathered at the front of the hotel and released the balloons and let go of their negative thoughts.

Macra RYI Contribute to the Road Traffic Bill 2014

The Road Traffic Act 2014 was signed into law on 25th February 2014. Macra, in the past 12 months, has done extensive work in this area in lobbying the Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar and his officials under the new category novice driver. The committee lobbied for increasing the number of points to equal or exceed seven points before a novice/learner driver is put off the road for a period of 6 months. The committee believes road safety is primarily about educating young drivers & not punishing them.

Drink, Drama and Debate Seminar

They held an interactive seminar which was called “Youth Abusing Alcohol or Alcohol Abusing Youth” in Limerick. This was a very different type of seminar which featured excellent speakers from the drinks industry, Drink Aware, academia and National Youth Council as well as a special play on the topic written by Michael Somers, Kilkenny Macra, and performed on the day by members of Cork Macra under the direction of Sean Ronan. The play and the excellent performances by the actors brought the topic to life and gave it a sense of gritty reality. It also highlighted the depth of talent which is in Macra. The Rural Youth Committee are hoping to build on the success of this inaugural seminar with another seminar in Spring 2015.

Read Macra's Alcohol & Drugs Guidelines here.

Mental Health

Rural Youth have a range of initiatives to promote positive mental health to members. Their philosophy is getting young people involved in Macra is the best antidote to mental health.

Green Ribbon Initiative

Rural Youth and See Change proactively promote positive mental health through the 'Green Ribbon' campaign during the month of May.


Macra na Feirme launched a positive mental health guidebook for the rural LGBT community alongside GLEN.

Cardiac First Responder community level training

The rural youth committee proposed that Macra link up with the Order of Malta to provide all our members with the option of undertaking training in First Aid. The CFR course leads to the award of Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council (PHECC) award which is valid for two years.

Find out more about the work of the Rural Youth Committee:

Facebook Page: Ruralyouthcommitteemacra or macranafeirme

Twitter: @MacraRuralYouth