'Who needs Tinder when you can join Macra?' - new head of farming group
The newly elected President of Macra na Feirme, James Healy, says the organisation is the unofficial dating agency of rural Ireland and that there is no need for dating site Tinder when you can join Macra.
Speaking to Patricia Messinger, on C103's 'Cork Today Show', Mr Healy stressed that the organisation was renowned for its match-making skills.
"Plenty of members of my own club would be 'Macra babies' as we like to title them. It is the unofficial dating agency of rural Ireland. Who needs Tinder when you can join Macra?
"We have somewhere in the region of 9,000 members. And that takes everybody from the ages of 17 to 35. While most of our members would be towards the younger end of that age bracket there are members all across the age range."
The 36th national president of Macra na Feirme said the biggest challenge facing the organisation is that people are moving from rural to urban areas to follow employment.
"All these job opportunities are becoming more and more an urban phenomenon. And I think what we really need to be doing to keep our rural communities alive is that we need to be fighting to keep employment in rural areas. Because that is going to ensure that there are people there who want to join Macra and can join Macra. You cannot blame people for following the job opportunities. They leave for third level and there is nothing to draw them back home again."
Mr Healy, from Donoughmore in Co Cork, said broadband needs to be upgraded in rural areas to make such places viable options for firms looking to move out of the city.
He expressed concern about the potential impact of Brexit on rural communities. He says his organisation is doing everything possible to prepare farmers for the upheaval.