The 6th National finals of the Farm Relief Services Memorial Scholarship took place at the Teagasc/Macra na Feirme Colleges Challenge Day in Ballyhaise Agricultural College, Co Cavan recently.

The scholarship is run in conjunction with Macra na Feirme and a winner is selected to represent each Teagasc college as a national finalist.

Representing Darrara Agricultural College, Clonakilty was Thomas McAuliffe from Kanturk. In the national final McAuliffe gave his winning presentation on ‘The Leadership Qualities of Aryton Senna’ to a judging panel made up of Peter Byrne, FRS Network CEO, Kieran O’Dowd, national president of Macra and Tony Pettit, head of education with Teagasc.

Involved in the home dairy enterprise at 23 years of age and with a big interest in boxing and soccer, McAuliffe will be busy as he takes up the scholarship. First prize will mean he will spend the three months after he finishes in Clonakilty gaining experience in all aspects of the Farm Relief Services business in its Kanturk office.

The Scholarship will give McAuliffe experience of how the business is run. He will be employed by FRS and will be given as much practical exposure to the running of the business as possible. This experience will provide the all-important starting block to his future career.

McAuliffe was presented with a perpetual trophy and a personal trophy. All finalists also received a certificate of achievement.

Peter Byrne, FRS CEO, said: “FRS is delighted to be involved in giving a student, with real potential and drive, a chance to gain that all important hands on practical experience to open the door to their future career. We pride ourselves in being part of the development of the agricultural industry and this is just one way that FRS does just that.”

President of Macra na Feirme, Kieran O’Dowd said “giving a young farmer the exposure to how a reputable and long established organisation such as FRS is run will stand to that person as they embark on their career. It is a great opportunity that should be embraced by Thomas with both hands. I am confident it will be.”

Pictured at the FRS Memorial Scholarship presentation were Kieran O’Dowd National President of Macra na Feirme, Thomas McAuliffe award winner from Darrara Agricultural College, Clonakilty, Peter Byrne, FRS Network CEO, and Tony Pettit Head of Education with Teagasc