All roads lead to Gurteen Agricultural College in Roscrea, Co Tipperary from the 3-10 August for Macra na Feirme’s opportunity to host the Rural Youth Europe European Rally 2013. Macra have the privilege of hosting the flagship European youth event with the theme of “Get involved, be the change: mobilising rural communities to active citizenship”.

The European rally is a week-long leadership programme of workshops and activities that caters for over 100 participants from rural youth organisations across Europe. Young people from all over Europe from Wales to Sweden and beyond will attend.

Four Macra members were chosen to participate in this year’s event and are being lead by Macra President Kieran O’ Dowd. These members won Gold Leadership Awards last August and were selected to represent Macra as part of their prize. This year Clonakilty Macra will also have two representatives as they won the Rural Youth Europe Youth Project award with their “Know Your Neighbour Random Acts of Kindness Festival”.

Participants over the week-long programme will participate in various workshops to explore this year’s theme. Some of these workshops include “What is Community? ”, “Social Capital” and “Team Building”. Some traditional events that also take part throughout the week include a solidarity evening, host family trips and international evenings. This year there will also be a parade which promises to be a fun evening. It is a wonderful opportunity for Ireland to showcase what we are most famous for, ie Irish music, dance and good hospitality.

There will be high spirits in Gurteen and the surrounding areas over the week and this is an exciting and wonderful achievement for Macra and it promises to be an eventful and insightful week.

The Irish team of Macra members responsible for running this event are Chairperson, Patricia McKenna (Meath), Secretary, Gail Shannon (Wexford), Treasurer, Catherine McCollum (Cavan), Dara Kavanagh (Wicklow), Flor O’Gorman (Imokilly National Council Rep) and PRO Mona O’Donoghue Concannon (National Council Rep Galway). The team are also aided by an international team.