This week, we have a special Young Stock Podcast, as Sarah McIntosh and Martin Merrick take us behind the scenes as they judge this year’s Mr Personality Festival organised by Kilkenny Macra.

The event took place in Clonmel from 5 to 7 April and saw a weekend full of events saw 25 contestants from Macra clubs across Ireland battle it out in order to be named Mr Personality 2024.

From making the judges ham and cheese sandwiches, to milking a cow on stage, this year’s contestants didn’t make it an easy task to pick a winner, with a high calibre of talents displayed during the on-stage interviews.

In the podcast, last year’s winner Andrew Dunne speaks to us about what he has been up to since winning the title in 2023 and the impact it has had on his life.

We also managed to catch up with a few of the contestants during the weekend to find out why they wanted to enter the competition and how they found the experience.

The event wouldn’t be possible without the hard work of the organising committee, so we spoke to chair Christine O’Neill on the work that goes on behind the scenes.

This will pass

Taking home the Mr Personality 2024 title was Mark Riordan from Kenmare, Co Kerry. Speaking to us the day after he won, Mark emphasises the importance of staying together during the tough challenges young farmers are currently facing.

“Since September last year, we have had nothing but rain. We talk about silage, we talk about breeding and we talk about all the challenges with farming.

"There is a lot happening on farm and there is a lot happening in farmers' heads that we don’t talk about enough.

"It's not easy out there at the moment and if you look at the weather for the next week especially, it’s probably disheartening, but I think, as a community, as Macra, we have to be there for each other, we're all in the same boat and this will pass,” says Mark.

To get in touch with your opinions and feedback on the podcast, you can email or leave a WhatsApp voice note to 086-836 6465.

Take a listen below:

Available supports

Jigsaw support and advice:

Childline: Freephone 1800666666.

Spunout: Free-text SPUNOUT to 50808.

Bernardos: Freephone 1800910123.

Read more

We can’t control the weather, but we can have some control on grain prices

Young Stock Podcast: meet the man who took ABP’s stand at the Tullamore Show