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February 2016
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Flooding – Lowry Accuses Government Of ‘Crisis Panic’.


Independent TD Deputy Michael Lowry has described the decision by the present Government not to proceed with a ‘statutory single waterways authority’ as simply disastrous. The government has instead set up a ‘co-ordination group’ to implement flood management infrastructure.

Deputy Lowry stated: “The setting up of a ‘co-ordination group’ instead of a ‘statutory single waterways authority’ is a formula for future confusion with regards to actual day-to-day management of Ireland’s rivers and waterways. For whatever reason best known to this Government, they appear to have panicked under the pressure of recent criticisms regarding their slow response to the unanticipated flooding crisis. In making this decision to set up a ‘co-ordination group’ they have guaranteed that any disagreements between state agencies and other bodies into the future, will only lead to long delays in almost all attempted implementation of future flood prevention measures.”

Lowry welcomed the decision to include aid under the Fodder Replacement Scheme together with Humanitarian Aid and Hardship Recognition assistance.

Lowry stated; “It is now essential that all fodder damaged through flooding be urgently replaced and that the Hardship Recognition Scheme should take into account not just the damage caused to farm buildings but also deflated farm income suffered in association”.

Deputy Lowry acknowledged the magnificent and professional work undertaken by community services, general staff and management at Tipperary County Council.

“I have now contacted Tipperary County Council in relation to recent flooding and the general repairs and works urgently required in mending drains, ditches and culverts as well as roads and bridges across Tipperary. I have insisted that I be kept fully informed of any reports or proposed future works that are to be carried out on all roads, which I have examined and listed. Requests have been forwarded on to the necessary personnel with the instruction that issues be investigated on behalf of residents. It is now essential that Tipperary Co. Council seek funding from Government for all necessary emergency repairs”, concluded TD Lowry.

Farming Officially Most Dangerous Occupation

tipp-farmingAccording to figures from the Health & Safety Authority (HSA), overall 55 people died in Irish work-related incidents in 2015.

It is now official; Ireland’s most dangerous occupation is currently farming, however nationally in 2015, the number of farm related deaths fell by some 40%.

In total nationally, 18 people lost their lives through agriculture related accidents last year, with two such deaths accounted for sadly in Co. Tipperary. This same number compares nationally to 30 the number of farm related death recorded in 2014.

Co Cork recorded the highest number of work-related deaths in 2015, followed by Donegal with 6 and Galway with a total of 5 fatalities.

Recorded nationally as having died while working in the construction industry are 11 people, while 5 lost their lives while working in the fishing sector.

Occupational related deaths involving the use of vehicles were the main cause of fatal accidents and accounted for 21 deaths nationally recorded.

Tipperary Publican Dies In Workplace Accident

deathMr John Ahern in his 67th year;  a father of four from Ballymackeogh, Newport, Co Tipperary, died tragically last night in what was described as an unfortunate workplace accident.

The well-known and loved Tipperary publican, agricultural contractor and dairy farmer, who had a passion for vintage machinery, was located deceased by his son Michael and daughter in law Theresa, wedged between the hood and the cab of his vintage lorry.

Following the grim discovery, Gardaí and emergency services were called to the rear of Mr Ahern’s family home, at approximately 9.50pm last night.

Mr Ahern ran the well known Ahern’s bar on the road between Newport to Limerick (R503); a premises renowned for hosting Sunday night dancing.

Mr Ahern is survived by his sons Michael, John Christopher and daughters Aishling and Deirdre.

In the wake of this tragedy, a deep sense of sadness, combined with disbelief and shock is being expressed in the surrounding area of Newport town today.

Go ndéana Dia trócaire ar a anam dílis.

Winners Of International Miss Macra 2015



Miss Eibhlis Maher (International Miss Macra festival PRO), reports:-

Miss Susan Willis, representing Co. Carlow was crowned International Miss Macra 2015, at the close of the 44th International Miss Macra Festival, which took place over the August Bank Holiday weekend.

Miss Julie Muldowney, representing Co. Kilkenny, achieved second place, while Miss Helen Hayes representing North Tipperary, was awarded third position.

The names of the winners were announced at that enchanting hour of midnight, when a rare eerie silence descended on the Ballroom in Dundrum House Hotel, marking the conclusion of this year’s festival and where the Macra Gala Banquet had taken place earlier that evening.

Miss Susan Willis was presented with a specially-made Sterling Silver Tiara, embellished with cubic Zirconia, designed and hand crafted by Michael’s Jewellers Thurles, marking the 40th anniversary of International Miss Macra Festival. Miss Willis also was proudly presented with the Perpetual Silver International Miss Macra Trophy, courtesy of Dundrum House Hotel management, together with a piece of Galway Crystal and a cash prize of €1000.

The second placed, Miss Julie Muldowney, received a specially commissioned piece of Galway Crystal and a cash prize of €500, while Miss Helen Hayes, adjudged a close third, also received a piece of Galway Crystal and €300 prize money.

A record over two hundred and forty people sat to dine at the five course Gala Banquet on Sunday evening last, held in the luxurious Dundrum House Hotel, thus concluding this year’ most successful festival to date.

Previously, that morning all International Miss Macra 2015 contestants attended mass in the local parish church in Clonoulty-Rossmore and afterwards togged-out to prove their worth by taking part in a sports day.

Musical entertainment on the Sunday night was provided by the band ‘The Guest Band’ followed by Ireland’s No 1 favourite DJ, ‘Don Andrews’.

This year saw twenty-two contestants, each chosen by their Macra Clubs, took part in the 44th International Miss Macra Festival.

The enormous success of this year’s festival, which attracted record crowds, is due completely to the hard work of all Clonoulty / Rossmore Macra members, who undertook the precise planning and organising of this festival on a completely voluntary basis, under the leadership of Mr Donnacha Ryan (Chairperson).  Indeed, speaking on behalf of this year’s sponsors Mrs Joan Pollard Carew (Michaels Jewellers, Friar Street, Thurles) strongly recommended that the Clonoulty / Rossmore committee should immediately take over from our present government, so successful were the formers efforts in the promoting of rural Ireland, its heritage, tourism and valued traditions.

In relinquishing her last year’s title, the former International Miss Macra winner of 2014, Miss Brid Cooney, stated “What an amazing 12 months it has been representing Macra na Féirme, Avondhu Macra and Clonoulty Rossmore Macra as International Miss Macra 2014. Thanks you all for the opportunity, it has been absolutely fantastic meeting all of this year’s contestants. You’re a fantastic bunch of ladies and did yourselves and your Counties / Clubs proud. It therefore gives me great pleasure to pass on the coveted crown to Miss Susan Willis of Carlow Macra and I hope and trust that you have a brilliant year while promoting the Macra na Féirme gospel! Warmest congratulations to the overall winners and those taking part – winners all.”

Speaking at the Gala Banquet, Mr Donnacha Ryan (Festival Chairperson) stated that “Miss Brid Cooney’s past year, as 43rd International Miss Macra 2014, was one of total dedication in the promotion of Macra principals and Macra Clubs throughout the length and breadth of Ireland and abroad.”

44th International Miss Macra Festival – Friday July 31st 2015

Miss Eibhlis Maher (International Miss Macra festival PRO), reports:-

This year (2015) celebrates the 44th anniversary of the International Miss Macra Festival. The festival is run annually by the Clonoulty/Rossmore Macra na Feirme club; held over the Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights of the annual August Bank Holiday weekend.

Click HERE to view Video in High Definition

(Video Music: Courtesy Richard and Linda Thompson – “I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight”.)

Once again this year’s festival will see young ladies travelling from all over Ireland and beyond and all converging on Co. Tipperary to compete for the honour of being crowned International Miss Macra 2015 (succeeding the much admired, 2014 winner Miss Bríd Cooney.).

History of the Miss Macra Festival

With regards to the history of this most prestigious of events, the International Miss Macra Festival is one real example of a ‘personality competition’. This festival was originally founded by Mr Paddy Heffernan, Mr Tom Horan and Mr Michael Slattery back in 1972 and has grown from strength to strength every year since conception.

In the very beginning after approaching Macra National Headquarters, the founding members received little enthusiastic support for their idea, however they were determined to succeed and decided to organise the competition ‘of their own bat’. Major success followed and by 1987, for the twenty-fifth anniversary there were thirty-two contestants, one from every county in Ireland. Also during the 1980’s the festival began to attract participation from rural youth and agricultural organisations abroad, such as the 4H clubs in America, the Scottish Young Farmers and many more.

The International Miss Macra competition is unique, due mainly to the fact that it is organised solely by a local Macra Club and not via any County Executive. The Miss Macra festival has a huge community base also, with the contestants staying with host families from around the locality for the duration of the festival period. The pinnacle point of the festival is that it is, perhaps, the best example within Macra of what a local club can achieve, demonstrating strong dedication and team-like commitment.

The local community play an important part in this festival, with many households taking on the role of a host family for each of the contestants, year after year. The tradition of the contestants staying with host families is very strong and contestants are adopted into the very heart of each host family’s home for the full duration of the festival, where a warm welcome is guaranteed. The host families are a very important part of this community based festival and Clonoulty/Rossmore Macra na Feirme club are very grateful each year for this support, generosity, commitment and loyalty.

International Miss Macra Festival Venue – Dundrum House Hotel, Tipperary

The luxurious Dundrum House Hotel (latter winner of a certificate of excellence in 2012) has once again been chosen as the prominent venue for this year’s festival. Described as an oasis in the Golden Vale; Dundrum House Hotel boasts the perfect setting for those seeking relaxation and fun. The historic, picturesque building was originally constructed in the early eighteenth century by the O’Dwyers of Kilnamanagh, as the centrepiece of their vast estate.

Continue reading 44th International Miss Macra Festival – Friday July 31st 2015

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