Following a two-year hiatus owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, the International Miss Macra Festival will return to Thurles, Co Tipperary, to mark the 50th anniversary. The festival will take place over the August bank holiday weekend (July 29-31).

The International Miss Macra festival is a personality competition for female Macra na Feirme members which first took place in the early 1970s, having been founded by club members Paddy Heffernan, Tom Horan, and Michael Slattery of Clonoulty-Rossmore Macra as a fundraiser.

While the festival has changed somewhat over the years, its strong roots in community, with contestants being hosted by local families, and support of local sponsors are still central to its success.

Every year, each Macra na Feirme and Ulster YFC branch are invited to select a contestant to represent their county or region at the three-day event, which sees the contestants and supporters from all over the country and beyond coming to Co Tipperary.

The festival includes:

  • Friday, July 29: Contestants are given a guided tour of Coolmore Stud and Fethard Horse and Country Experience and partake in ice-breaker activities before attending a charity night with a DJ in Coffey’s of Stouke, Clonoulty.
  • Saturday July 30: Contestants have their private interviews with a three-person judging panel of Joan Pollard Carew (Michael’s Jewellers, Thurles), Declan Ryan and a former International Miss Macra.
  • Saturday night’s TFM Ltd Cabaret ( involves on-stage interviews of all contestants, followed by a band and DJ in the Anner Hotel, Thurles. Tickets are €15.
  • Sunday July 31: A five-course gala banquet, followed by the crowning of International Miss Macra 2022, with music by band Silver Dollar and a DJ. Tickets are €60 – tickets to the ‘afters’ for crowning, band and DJ are €15.
  • All ticket information can be found at or by calling chairperson Jim on 087-751 3824.

    Seeking former winners

    Since its foundation, 49 women have been crowned International Miss Macra. These women were chosen as they were excellent representatives of Macra na Ferime, Ulster YFC and Scotland AYFC.

    The festival welcomes representatives from all over the island of Ireland and Scotland and has long seen great success from all regions. Past winners have included two women from Scotland and six women from the Young Farmers of Ulster.

    As part of the 50th anniversary celebrations, the committee is planning a reunion lunch, sponsored by Tipperary Co-op ( on Saturday July 30 in the Anner Hotel, Thurles, Co Tipperary.

    The lunch will provide an opportunity for past winners to return to Thurles and reminisce over their time as International Miss Macra, as the festival prepares to crown International Miss Macra 2022.

    The committee is currently working to get in contact with all past winners. They would like to ensure that all past winners are afforded the opportunity to attend and invite any past winners, or those who would be able to contact them, to do so by emailing, or by calling/WhatsApping festival secretary Edel on 087-754 6972 or through our website,