Maudabawn Macra na Feirme travel to Clonmel this weekend in the hope of bringing home the prestigious Club of the Year award. They carry the hopes of the county at the most important event in the Macra calendar having claimed the Club of the County 2017/18 award in Cavan's Imperial Bar back in June.
They followed that achievement by making it through as one of the 14 semi-finalists in Abbeyleix, where they progressed as one of six finalists for the Tipperary event. Qualifying for the Macra blue ribband event is quite the achievement for a club which was only re-established in 2015.
In those three short years they have attracted almost 50 members and amassed an impressive trophy collection, including both the ‘Club of the County’ and ‘North West Club of the Year’ in 2016, and also the ‘Best New Member’ accolade in 2017.
They hope to emulate the achievement of Ramor Macra, who are the current Club of the Year, having become the first Cavan club to take the title. The Maudabawn club have a strong team to representing them in Clonemel with chairperson Eugene McCabe, secretary Elaine McCabe, PRO Enda Shalvey, and treasurer, Noel Quinn.
Enda says they "hope to do our club and community proud".
He attributed their success to the "hard work of our club members", before outlining just how busy they have been over the last year.
“One of our many highlights of the previous Macra year has been the community fundraising initiative ‘Gallonray House Lord Mayor Competition’. Along with Drumgoon Play Actors and Drumgoon GAA, Maudabawn Macra competed to raise the most money for Gallonray House and our own chosen charity, Shercock Killann Cancer Support Group. Our club ran a ‘Mr & Mrs’ Competition and a Tractor Run as part of our fundraising efforts.
“Throughout the campaign there was great community spirit and support at all events. All of our 49 affiliated members contributed to the fundraising efforts in which we raised a total of €10,233.74 for various charities which was a phenomenal achievement for any club.”
Maudabawn Macra has a strong focus on community involvement, performing arts and social outings: "Our annual 'Shindig in The House' is a social night held in Gallonray House where we have a band, barbecue and rodeo bull to keep the Macra members and community entertained," said Enda, "In 2017 our novelty act won the comedy category of the National Talent Competition with a comedy sketch titled ‘The Hard Border’ and our drama troupe made it as far as the national semi-finals with the play ‘Mismatch’ written and directed by Anne-Marie Bannon. This year for our club team building trip away we went to Baysports in Athlone where we ventured onto the inflatable obstacle course on the lake.”
Enda praised the local community support for Maudabawn Macra's ambitious projects: "A lot of the success we have enjoyed over the past year is down to the support that we receive from our local community. In particular we would like to thank Gallonray House, Maudabawn Co-Op, Drumgoon GAA and the Drumgoon Play Actors for all of the help that we have received over the past year.
"For anyone thinking of joining a Macra we couldn’t recommend it more. Macra has a wide range of activities and competitions which means that there’s something to suit everyone but equally it means that there is always the opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and try something new," he concluded.