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Friday 28 July 2017

Macra president takes rap for 'dating agency' remarks

James Healy
James Healy
Claire Mc Cormack

Claire Mc Cormack

Newly elected Macra na Feirme President James Healy has apologised for any offence caused by his recent controversial remarks comparing the rural youth organisation to the dating app Tinder.

Last month, the Corkman and member of Donoughmore Macra, sparked hot debate among current and former members when he described Macra na Feirme as "the unofficial dating agency of rural Ireland" during an interview with a Cork radio station.

"It was a five-second line in a 10-minute interview and I didn't think I was saying anything outrageous, but if there are some members who didn't like the organisation being portrayed that way, I can only apologise to them.

"At the same time, you have to be able to laugh at yourself and you can't take yourself too seriously," he said.

Mr Healy (pictured) was speaking after Macra na Feirme's jam-packed agm in Drumshanbo, Co Leitrim, where he officially took the reins from outgoing president Sean Finan.

In his inauguration speech, Mr Healy called on Agriculture Minister Michael Creed to introduce "low cost credit" supports for young farmers in order to mitigate the threat of Brexit.

"We need to make sure our young farmers are enticed into a vibrant industry where they are supported and won't be washed out with the first crisis," he said.

Mr Healy also stated his intention to tackle the rise in cyber bullying and focus on the mental health of rural youth during his term in office.


"I believe there is huge scope for Macra to pilot a programme in this area and I would call on Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone to work with us on this," he said.

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