7 May 2017
By Bryan T. Smyth
The newly elected 36th president of Macra na Feirme James Healy – from Kilmartin, Donoughmore, Co Cork – has called on Agriculture Minister Michael Creed to put, ‘together a package of measures and incentives specifically for young farmers including further access to low cost credit to help ensure they can continue to grow and expand their agriculture enterprises despite the current volatility and be ready for the post-Brexit era.’
He made the comments as part of his inauguration speech as Macra na Feirme President. He also stated his intention to tackle the rise in cyber bullying among young people and focus on the mental health of rural youth during his term in office. To that end, the new president will be asking the Macra na Feirme rural youth committee to develop a Cyber Bullying Prevention and Social Media Etiquette for members. He added, ‘We as a member-led, young people’s organisation are perfectly placed to lead a programme where young people can educate each other. I believe there is huge scope for Macra to pilot a program in this area and I would call on Minister Katherine Zappone and the Department of Children and Youth affairs to work with us in designing this program so that it can have the greatest effect possible.’
James Healy from Kilmartin, Donoughmore is the 7th Cork representative to serve in the role. He succeeds Sean Finan who finished his two year term on Saturday, James thanked Sean saying, ‘ Sean has worked tirelessly for this organisation, from driving the highways and by-ways of this country to being ever-present at club and county events around the country, to lobbying hard in both Dublin and Brussels on behalf of our young farmers and rural youth and I welcome his continued input on council.’
Joining James in office as Vice Presidents are Sharon Corcoran as North West Vice President, Cara O’Mahony as Leinster Vice President and Tom O’Donoghue as new Munster Vice President.