Northwest Macra King Ciaran Bannon celebrating with his siblings. From left: Cathal Bannon, Shauna Bannon, Ciaran Bannon and Sarah Marie Bannon in Gallonray House on Friday night last. For more photos, see this week's print edition of The Anglo-Celt

The Rose of Tralee of Macra!

A Cavan man emerged victorious in the Macra King and Queens 2024 competition.

Ciaran Bannon from Cavan Macra, who works at Maudabawn Co-op, was one of a large number of competitors in the Northwest event. The contest is held annually and gives counties across the country the chance to battle it out for the title and a cash prize of €300.

He was crowned Macra King 2024 at the prestigious event last weekend and that was quickly followed by a massive welcome home party at Gallonray House.

“It’s the Rose of Tralee of Macra,” said Ciaran speaking to the Celt in the aftermath of last weekend’s celebrations. “It took a lot of encouragement for me to participate but I am glad I did because it was great craic and I enjoyed it immensely.”

Meanwhile, after completing his Leaving Cert in 2018, the new Macra King went to Ballyhaise College and began working full-time. He then secured a job at Maudabawn Co-op and it was from there that his journey with Macra began.

“One of the lads at the co-op told me about Macra and how great it was for getting you out of the house and meeting people of a similar age,” said Ciaran, adding that, before long, he had joined up and was enjoying himself.

“We had a sports night on Wednesdays and it was brilliant because it became something to look forward to midweek; a group of us were meeting up and having the craic, and it was very enjoyable.”

Before long, the Cavan Queen Sarah Smith spoke to Ciaran about the competition and encouraged him to put himself forward. After much deliberation, Ciaran threw his hat into the ring and, as he said himself, “hasn’t looked back”.

“It was great fun; it really took me out of my comfort zone; in fact that is the great thing about Macra, it takes you out of your comfort zone but there’s no judgment. It’s all about being supported and encouraged along the way,” Ciaran continued.

“Myself and Molly Kienan were announced King and Queen on the night and we will hold on to the crown and trophies for the year, and then pass on the baton, as they say.”

Ciaran took the opportunity to thank everyone who supported him in his bid to become the Northwest Macra King 2024. He paid tribute to all the county kings and queens who participated in the competition and highlighted his pride in being welcomed home to “a great night” at Gallonray House.

Monaghan Macra clinched second place on the night.