The race for three regional Macra vice-presidents is well and truly on, with keen competition in both Munster and the northwest, with two candidates running in each area.

Caitriona Power from Co Clare faces the opposition of Cork native Aishling O'Keefe, while in the northwest, Rob Lally from Co Mayo is up against Pat Greenan from Co Monaghan.

Just one candidate is running for the role in Leinster, Patrick Jordan, and he has been elected unopposed.

Rob Lally - northwest candidate

Twenty-five-year-old Rob Lally from Claremorris, Co Mayo, is farming full-time with his grandfather, running a store-to-beef enterprise. Farming 200ac, the grandfather-grandson duo fatten upwards of 300 cattle during the winter.

"I studied agriculture in Mountbellew after doing the Leaving Cert applied (LCA) and then went on to study a rural development agri business degree in GMIT.

"I've been in Macra from the get-go and set up a club in both Mountbellew and GMIT. My aim as vice-president would be to build the clubs in the northwest, but particularly in the west.

"Macra has a long way to go in the west. Some people view it as a farmers' organisation, but it's for everyone - nurses, guards, teachers, everyone. It can open so many doors for people. We just need to publicise all that we do more, particularly on social media."

Pat Greenan - northwest candidate

Rob Lally's opposition in the northwest is poultry farmer Pat Greenan from Rockcurry, Co Monaghan.

From Newbliss Macra Club, the Monaghan man has held various club roles, such as chair, PRO and secretary.

"I'm from a poultry farm with over 40,000 birds. We're currently building a bird house fit for 64,000 birds, so things are busy.

"My main campaign as vice-president of the northwest would be mental health and drug awareness, as well as promoting competitions that suit the northwest.

"Ultimately, I want to see the northwest back up and running like it used to be. Macra is not only a social group, but as a group of locals you can rely on in times of need. It's a big family of friends."

Caitríona Power -Munster candidate

In partnership with her dad on their dairy and suckler farm, Power also minds kids two days a week.

They milk 50 cows and keep a few sucklers on the home farm in Clare.

"I first joined Macra back in 2016. I'm nearly seven years in it, I've seen a lot really and I've had a lot of roles between both club and county.

"I took on county chair in Clare in 2021 and it was struggling big time. Two years later, we've finally come around the other side.

"It took a lot of work. I feel I can bring the work I've done with Clare to the rest of Munster.

"Phoning around different clubs in different counties is a great experience and I'm getting to ask them what they'd like to improve and talk about new ideas. Membership is a huge thing I'll be trying to drive; we have to try build it up."

Aishling O'Keefe - Munster candidate

Banteer, Co Cork, native Aishling O'Keeffe is running for the Munster job and is a 25-year-old accountant.

O'Keeffe's family is steeped in Macra tradition and she hopes to follow in her dad's footprints as Munster vice-president. Her parents also met through Macra.

"I've been working with PWC as an accountant auditor for the last two years and we've a dairy and a beef farm at home in Nad, which is just outside Banteer.

"We're calving at the minute and we have 100 to calve in total.

"My campaign for vice-president is going well so far. I've been ringing clubs looking for nominations.

"I hope to really increase memberships in Macra. You'd also like to see clubs back to pre-COVID-19 levels, with competitions and fundraisers.

"Increasing clubs' presence on social media is also something I plan to work hard on. Macra is doing great work and it's not all being seen."

Patrick Jordan - Leinster candidate

Patrick Jordan from Ballon, Co Carlow, has been elected unopposed as Leinster vice-president in what was a one-candidate race. The out-going national secretary of Macra will succeed Claire Gough on 13 May at Macra's AGM.

"I work with Focus Ireland and work in corporate fundraising, but I'm also involved on my mother's tillage farm in Ballon.

"I grew up with Macra and joined in October 2010. I ran because I wanted to give something back to an organisation that gave so much to me. The friends I made in Macra will not only last your time in the organisation, but will last you a lifetime.

"I play a large role in my own club of Tallow in the organising of events and hope to continue to do even more now."

Hustings have been running since 22 March, which gives candidates an opportunity to debate it out against one another.

The election for the three regional vice-presidents will then take place on Wednesday 5 April in Dublin.