Carrigaline Macra from Seandun, Co. Cork has won the All-Ireland debating final by beating East Laois Macra.

The debating final took place at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Limerick on Saturday, March 21. The team consisted of Eilís Ahern, David O’Sullivan, Trisha Delahunty and Rona Coghlan.

Carrigaline proposed the motion “That the state must invest more to support Rural Ireland” and the team have now won a place on the annual prizewinners trip which takes place next October, the organisation says.

Carrigaline Macra member, David O’Sullivan also won best debater and took home the Peter Murphy memorial trophy which is in honour of Macra’s former National Organiser.

Kieran O’Dowd, Macra National President, presented the trophy and said that debating is a fantastic skill to have in life  and that it is one which is emphasised in Macra as it enhances members’ leadership skills and personal development.

This is the second time that Carrigaline Macra has won the national final of the competition, it first won the title in 2008.

Macra’s National Dairy Council basketball All-Irelands also took place last weekend (March 22).

Tullamore Macra, Co. Offaly has won this year’s Macra na Feirme men’s basketball final by beating Whitechurch Macra, Seandun, Co. Cork while Durrow-Abbeyleix Macra, Co. Laois, took the top prize in the women’s competition by beating South Sligo Macra.

The day-long event took place at the University of Limerick recently where 26 teams from around the country took part, the organisation says.

Kieran O’Dowd also presented the trophies and medals on the day. He said that basketball continues to be a popular sport in Macra, by building team spirit; improving fitness and providing a social outlet.

“Being active is crucial for health and wellbeing and Macra, along with the National Dairy Council, are keen to emphasise the benefits of both exercise and healthy eating. Drinking a glass of skimmed milk after taking part in sports is a great way to rehydrate as a number of research studies indicated,” he said.