'Joining Macra saved me after the deaths of parents'
A brain tumour diagnosis and the death of his two parents before he was 30 meant that newly crowned Macra Mr Personality John Martin Carroll has had to show plenty of courage over the years.
"In 2012 I was diagnosed with a brain tumour. I got through that and my dad Paddy collapsed in our kitchen and died of a stroke," says John who runs his own graphic design business in Causeway, Co Kerry.
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"My mother was then diagnosed with breast cancer and later bone marrow cancer. I nursed her until she died in 2016."
John tells the Farming Independent that the time after his mother, Mary, died was a period of darkness in his life.
"When I was looking after my mother I used to have to paint on a happy smile. I've no regrets for looking after her as she was my mother and I loved her but it was very hard," says the 32-year-old.
"When she died though it felt as if I was in a room that had no windows, everything was black.
"I was so down and lonely and would beat myself up over various things."
Three years ago, two of John's close friends asked would he be interested in coming to a Macra quiz in Killarney. John says this was a notion he initially wasn't on board with as he thought Macra was for "old men".