Fine Gael TD for Cavan and Monaghan, Deputy Joe O’Reilly, has called on Minister for Children, James Reilly TD, to ensure that Macra Na Feirme, are protected from any further funding cuts in this year’s Budget. The Deputy met with his local branch of Macra, during one of his clinics in Cavan recently, where they discussed the importance of protecting Macra’s funding.

‘Recently, I had a very worthwhile meeting with the Chairperson of Cavan Macra na Feirme, Ms Grainne O’Reilly, and her fellow members, where they raised the important matter of the retention of funding for their organisation’ explained Deputy O’Reilly.

‘Macra has an extensive training and development programme, which receives much needed funding through the Department of Children’s ‘Youth Services Grant Scheme’. This funding is vital as it goes directly towards assisting with essential training for Marca members and is the foundation stone that supports Marca’s personal development activities, something that is crucial for many members who live in very isolated and rural parts of the County’ stated the Deputy.

Commenting on the level of Budget cuts that Macra have experienced, the Deputy said ‘Since 2008, this scheme has seen a myriad of cuts and Macra are feeling these cuts acutely. With their national membership rising by 12% and participation rates amongst members up by 28%, Macra are under a great deal of pressure. If they were to experience any further cuts in this year’s Budget, it would be very difficult for them to continue to provide such a high level of support and service.’

Cavan Macra are a well-established and well organised group of young people that promotes and supports young people living in rural areas of the county. They have six key areas of involvement; community, sports, public speaking, performing arts, travel and agriculture. They are a strong partner with the See Change Organisation, which strives hard to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health issues, and last year they organised a very impressive seminar to highlight the negative impact that alcohol abuse can have on young people and their loved ones.

‘I have written to the Minister for Children, James Reilly TD, advocating on behalf of Macra and I have also since met the Minister personally on the matter. I am always very impressed when I meet with the Cavan Macra members, we must not forget the important work that they do for our young people, living in rural Cavan, and we must do everything that we can to ensure that they are able to continue their good work’ concluded the Deputy.


Senator Joe O'Reilly representing Cavan & Monaghan 2010. | An ExSite website