On Tuesday, September 4th, South Tipperary Macra na Feirme launched the Macra na Feirme National Conference in Clonmel Park Hotel. The festival, which takes place from October 26th to 29th, in Clonmel Park Hotel and the local Tipperary area, is sponsored by Tipperary County Council.
The weekend features a full program of agricultural, educational and entertainment events, culminating in a formal banquet on Sunday October 28th, and formal handover to the 2019 committee. The event will draw visitors from all parts of Ireland, and delegates from Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England.
Speaking at the event, Mayor Richie Molloy, a former member of the Fethard Macra club, said "Clonmel is a wonderful town, and for a long number of years we've had a lack of festivals in the town." adding "It'll be a great success."
Macra na Feirme National President, James Healy, said "As normal, we're massively looking forward to the weekend, and I'm sure that South Tipperary will put their own mark on what will be a fantastic weekend, and we won't forget the 'Rally in the Valley'".
The Macra na Feirme National Conference is known fondly by Macra members as the Rally. The Rally is an annual event and takes place in a different location each year, on the October Bank Holiday weekend. The Rally is the highlight of the Macra calendar., incorporating agriculture, competitions and issues that impact on rural young people from agricultural and non-agricultural backgrounds.
Chairperson Úna Ryan commended the organising committee for their dedication and support, saying "With everyone working together, we've achieved a lot within a very ambitious timeline. We have super local support from our sponsors, Tipperary County Council, from our partners Tipp FM, The Nationalist and Tipperary Star newspapers, and from lots of other local businesses and organisations. We're very lucky, and now, we're really looking forward to the weekend. For us, the highlight will be having everyone come to see the best of what Tipperary has to offer. We encourage people to come to Clonmel, take in some of the local sights and attractions, and really immerse themselves in what both Macra and Clonmel have to offer. It will be a weekend to remember!"