The 45th International Miss Macra Festival this year returns to Thurles, Co. Tipperary
Pictured L-R: Declan Ryan (Pres. Clonoulty/Rossmore Macra), Simone Loughman (Int. Miss Macra Secretary), Susan Willis (2015 Int. Miss Macra Winner), Anne Marie Lyng (Chairperson), Helen Hayes, (2015 Int. Miss Macra Runner-Up), Jamie Driver (Anner Hotel), Geraldine Henchion (Tipp FM Radio), at the official launch of the 2016, 45th International Miss Macra Festival to be held in Thurles, Co. Tipperary, on August Bank Holiday Weekend 2016.
Clonoulty-Rossmore Macra na Feirme are delighted to confirm that this year’s International Miss Macra Festival will take place over the 2016 August Bank Holiday weekend, from Friday the 29th of July to Monday the 1st August, here in Thurles, Co. Tipperary. This will be the Festivals 45th year and is an exceptional representation of what just one farming organisation can achieve; through hard work, determination and the full support of its local community.
This year will once again see young ladies travelling from all over Ireland, in the hope of following in the footsteps of last year’s winner, Miss Susan Willis (Co. Carlow); in being crowned International Miss Macra 2016. This, as stated, 45th year of the festival, will see many new initiatives and a change of scene, but first a brief history lesson.
International Miss Macra Festival History
The International Miss Macra Festival is a personality competition, a mini Rose of Tralee, if you will, for Macra na Feirme Clubs and their members. The festival was founded by Mr Paddy Heffernan, Mr Tom Horan and Mr Michael Slattery back in 1971. Initially Macra Members were met with little enthusiasm from Macra National Headquarters, but the Clonoulty / Rossmore club did not allow this to deter their ingenuity. As a rural farmers organisation they ploughed on (pardon the pun), regardless, with their plans and year on year since its conception this festival has blossomed with as many as 32 contestants competing annually each year, from Ireland and abroad.
The 90’s saw an interest from rural youth and agricultural organisations abroad, e.g. 4H clubs in America and Scottish Young Farmers, begin to develop. The International Miss Macra Festival is somewhat unique in that it is run by the same local Macra Club every year; rather than a County Executive and their scale of success is a testament to both the dedication of the Clonoulty-Rossmore Macra members and the massive support of the local Tipperary community.
The local Clonoulty / Rossmore community, in particular, play a most important part in this festival, with households taking on the role as ‘Host Families’ for each of the contestants, year after year. This tradition remains very strong; seeing the contestants receive the warmest of welcomes, as they become adopted into the hearts of the local host families. To these ‘Host Families’ go our committee’s gratitude for their never ending support, generosity, overall commitment and loyalty, each year.
International Miss Macra Festival Returns to its Roots
This year, 2016, sees the festival returning to its initial roots; coming back to Thurles, Co. Tipperary for the full duration of the weekend. Such is the high calibre of the venues in Thurles that the Festival this year will take place in three separate areas, as we showcase the best that Thurles and Co. Tipperary has to offer: Hayes Hotel(Birthplace of the GAA), on the Friday night, The Dome on Saturday and the magnificent family-run Anner Hotel(Graded Four-Star by Fáilte Ireland), on Sunday night.
This year, the festival will kick-start on Friday the 31st of July when contestants will meet the festival committee in Clonoulty village. Friday afternoon also offers contestants a chance to take a personal tour of the world famous Coolmore Stud Farm, followed by lunch in the Anner Hotel restaurant. Next the contestants will take part in a Zumba class in Clonoulty Community Hall where contestants, host families and local people will get their chance to ‘meet and greet’; a long-standing tradition of this festival.
International Miss Macra Judges
The judges for the 2016 competition this year are:-
(A) Joan Pollard Carew, representing Michael Carew Jewellers, Friar Street, Thurles. Joan, whose husband is main sponsor of the festival, is herself a published poetess and well known nationally in Irish Art and Irish Dancing circles. Joan and her husband also contribute greatly to the festival in terms of invaluable support, time and advice.
(B) Geraldine Henchion, representing Tipp FM, Tipperary’s No 1 Local Radio Station. Geraldine also well known in Art Circles, joins the panel for the first time this year.
(C) Declan Ryan, who has held every known post of responsibility on the International Miss Macra Festival committee and also currently holds the title of President of the Clonoulty/Rossmore Macra club.
ᗅᗺᗷᗅ Tribute Night in aid of Suir Haven – Mr Tommy Barrett Reports
“Moyne Road Residents Committee are delighted to announce details of their upcoming fund-raising event in aid of that wonderful Cancer Support Centre, better known as the Suir Haven Centre, situated here in Thurles, Co. Tipperary.
On Saturday 18th June an ‘ᗅᗺᗷᗅ‘ tribute band with special guest “Tina Turner Tribute“, will perform in The Premier Hall, in Thurles.
Pictured Above: A section of the group who attended the recent launch of this Abba event on Tipp FM Radio; recorded in the new Order of Malta Centre in Thurles, Co. Tipperary.
For the first time ever band “Waterloo“ bring their fabulous show to Thurles. Tickets for the night are a mere €10 and are available right now from Tony’s Shop, Ryan’s Daughter Restaurant and the Tipperary GAA Shop, latter all situated in Thurles Town. Tickets can also be purchased by contacting the box office on (089)4487657 / (0504) 22983.
To avoid disappointment, the organisers are urging people to purchase their tickets before the actual night; to be in with a chance of winning a ‘two night break away’ for two people (Bed & Breakfast) in the magnificent, 5 star Victorian Park Hotel overlooking Kenmare Bay in Kenmare, owned by the Brennan Brothers.
Note: Please ensure you give your name and number to the ticket seller; to be in with a chance to win this amazing prize, with the draw taking place on the night. Members of the organising committee will have the Box Office in the Premier Hall open each day from Monday(13th June) to Friday(17th June) from 10.00am-12 noon to facilitate ticket sales, so please do drop-in and support this worthy charity. All monies raised from the upcoming event will stay in our local Community to aid the ongoing wonderful work being undertaken by the Suir Haven Cancer Support Centre.
Truly a great night of fun and entertainment is promised. This event will allow for patrons to perform on the dance floor, while seating will be arranged for those patrons who want only to come to listen and enjoy the music.
So without delay purchase your tickets today and join us on Saturday 18th June and dance the night away to all your ᗅᗺᗷᗅ favourites.
Horse and Jockey Singers support Thurles Order of Malta
No break for the Horse and Jockey Singers – Having presented their highly successful and widely acclaimed Tipperary Echoes of 1916, they are now putting the final touches to their Summer Variety Concert.
The full cast of Horse & Jockey Singers, pictured here during rehearsals for their previous sell-out concert; “Tipperary Echoes of 1916”.
The concert will be staged in the ‘Derrynaflan Theatre’ at the Horse and Jockey Hotel on Friday June 3rd next.
This year’s concert proceeds will go to support the work of Thurles Order of Malta. The Order of Malta is a major provider of first-aid training, ambulance transport, community and elderly care services. Locally, the Thurles Order of Malta is well organised and highly motivated. Members are a regular presence at major games at Semple Stadium and other sporting and community occasions.
Indeed the opening, back in 2014, of their new state-of-the-art Unit Headquarters and Training Centre at Bohervaroon, Thurles, truly signified the vibrancy of the Order, locally.
A great night’s entertainment is guaranteed with many local performers featured, including:- The Doran Family, Michael Molumby, Derrynaflan Male Voice Choir, Comhaltas Cashel, Horse and Jockey Singers, John O’Sullivan, Lorraine Treacy, Jockey Quartet, Margaret Kennedy, Noel Joyce and the Two-Mile-Borris Set Dancers.
The concert starts at 8.00 pm and tickets costing €15 are available from the hotel reception or from Connie O’Keeffe Tel: 087-6667988. Please do book early to avoid disappointment.
In conjunction with the Tipperary Bealtaine Festival, ‘The Club for Dancing‘ are holding a free mid morning dance for those who want to learn a few basic steps of social dancing (and for those who can dance and would like to help out)e.g. The Slosh, Military Two Step, Waltz, Quickstep etc.
Anyone over the age of 18 years is invited.
The dance will be in ‘The Gallery Space’ of The Source/Library in Thurles on Wednesday the 25th of May from 11.15am to 1.00pm.
Admission is free. Dancing to the CDs of Peter Bourke, Dermot Lyons, Patrick O’Sullivan, Dave Rae, Johnny Barrett, Finbarr Dennehy etc. etc. etc.
Thurles Lions Club 1st Annual Vintage and Classic Car Show Moves To St. Patrick’s College
Next Sunday’s event will be the first year that Thurles Lions Club will host a ‘Vintage and Classic Car Show’, with the intention of developing the event into an annual festive date in the town; attracting visitors into the area, while also raising funds for many needy causes.
Thurles Lions Club in association with Supermacs, (Thurles) are being supported by the Clonoulty-Rossmore Vintage Club, Clonmel Transport Museum, North Tipp Vintage Club and the Thurles War Museum, in hosting this event.
Please Note Change To Originally Advertised Location.
The Thurles Lions Club Vintage and Classic Car Show is now being held in St Patrick’s College Thurles and NOT Thurles Greyhound Stadium, as was previously advertised, due to match traffic congestion expected around Semple Stadium and in the interests of health & safety.
Organising Committee & Sub-Committee
The organising committee of this event is composed of Thurles Lions Club members together with volunteer experts, who each bring a specialised knowledge and experience to this event.
A Sub-Committee of approximately 60 extra volunteers will be offering support on the day which will include allocated Thurles Lions Club members, the Thurles-Syrian Community, Phoenix Productions and Clonoulty-Rossmore Vintage Club.
The show will be open to visitors from 12:00 noon to 5.00pm. Exhibitors will however have access from 8.30am sharp on the morning of the show until 7.00pm that evening, to facilitate the setting up, dismantling and eventual removal of exhibits.
A Day Out for all the Family
Lions Clubs International is based solely on volunteer-ism, with 100% of funds, raised on the day, going directly to the cause for which it is intended.
Admission for adults will be €5.00 per adult, with admission for children under 12 totally free. [Note: Exhibitors of extra vintage and classic cars who turn up will also be granted free admission.]
Of course the main attraction of this show will be the selection of vintage and classic cars that will attend and Thurles Lions Club can, to date, confirm the presence of some 70 cars being in attendance, including the genuine 1916 Ford Model T, once belonging to Larry Kiernan, brother of Kitty Kiernan and used often by both Kitty and Michael Collins. Many other cars are also expected to show up on the day, with between 100 and 150 cars expected to be in attendance at any one time. The Irish Defence Forces will also have on exhibition a rarely seen 19141 Ford Armoured Car. Local motorcycle clubs have also been invited to attend and it is expected that some 20 bikes will also go on display.
The Purpose Of This Exciting Event
The refugee crisis, created by the Middle East war; Syria in particular, has created an enormous humanitarian aid problem. Since the outbreak of civil war in Syria in 2011, over 250,000 people have lost their lives and almost half the population of 20 million have been forced into exile from their homes, their villages and cities, turning into the largest body of refugees on the edge of Europe since World War II. Approximately 5 million, half of them children, are in camps, in appalling conditions, in Jordan, the Lebanon and Turkey and they desperately need humanitarian aid.
The Lions organisation in Ireland has been, over the past number of months, communicating with other Lions Clubs across Europe, evaluating essential needs and endeavouring to find supportive solutions to this desperate humanitarian crisis. In particular, the Irish Lions organisation has been in contact with the Scandinavian Lions organisation, who are operating on the ground in Lebanon and are planning to site a ‘Care Centre’ serving several Refugee Camps there, with basic Health and Education facilities. Funds raised from this year’s ‘Thurles Lions Club Vintage and Classic Car Show’ will go, 100%, directly this cause.
Special Attractions At this Event
As already stated: Numerous restored vintage and classic cars, motorcycles and tractors; Auto-Jumblers (Vintage Car Accessory Parts) from all over the country, including Northern Ireland; Artists Fare – More than 15 local artist exhibitions; Artisan Foods; Bouncy Castle (9m x 4m); An Inflatable Obstacle Course (9m x 4m); Carousel Roundabout for Children;“Hook a Duck”; Fun Train Rides around the wonderful grounds of St. Patrick’s College; Face Painting; “Wanderly Wagon”; Fortune Teller; “Mo Chara” Dog Show; An 1916 Exhibition; “A Taste of Syria” – Syrian coffee and cakes; Vintage Fairground Organ; Photo Booth; and finally a chance to meet and greet this years very lovely 2016 Tipperary Entrant in the Rose of Tralee – Miss Fiona O’Sullivan, to top it all off.
A monster raffle with magnificent sponsored prizes will also be held with single tickets costing just €2 each or 3 tickets for €5 can be purchased at this event .
Lions Clubs International is a non-political, non-religious voluntary organisation that empowers and encourages its volunteers to serve their communities, meet humanitarian needs, encourage peace and promote international understanding. There are approximately 1.4m members in over 47,000 clubs throughout the world. In Ireland there are approximately 2,500 members in 111 clubs throughout the island of Ireland.
Thurles Lions Club was founded in 1964. Membership of Thurles Lions Club are a diverse mix from the local community. A club of men and women ranging in age from their 20’s to their 80’s with a mix of experience, nationalities and backgrounds. The objective of the Club is not for personal gain, but to serve the community in an enjoyable, co-operative way. Over the past 50 years Thurles has provided much community, national and international aid. Each year, in addition to providing many services to the local community, Thurles Lions Club raises between €30,000 and €40,000 towards local, national and international charitable causes.