Bree Macra have been crowned this year’s senior winners at the annual Macra na Feirme debating final in Mallow, Co. Cork.
They defeated a team from Donoughmore Macra, though Donoghmore team-mate Tom Collins took home the best debater award.
The Bree team of Niall Doyle, Sinead Doyle, Johanna Wickham and Áine Doyle were arguing against the motion, “Macra Na Feirme is as relevant today as it was in 1944.”
In a clever interpretation of the motion, the winning team argued Macra was not as relevant as it had been in 1944 but was even more relevant to the young farmers of today than it had been in 1944.
Bree last won the All-Ireland debating final in 1986 with the team of Peter Byrne, Cecily Doyle, James Byrne and Theresa Byrne (nee Curtin).
Bree defeated Limerick on the motion “That the Anglo-Irish Agreement will provide peace and justice in Ireland” whuch earned the champions a 10-day European touring holiday which they enjoyed in October of that year.
Both successes are linked and a 33 year gap has been bridged.
Peter and James Byrne were coaches to the present winning team, as was P.J. Darcy who successfully coached the 1986 champions.