Communications professionals working across the agri sector met at Aldi HQ in Naas on Friday (26th May 2017) for the Guild of Agricultural Journalists summer meeting and AGM. An informative afternoon, journalists and those working in public relations were given a behind the scenes look at Aldi operations before meeting with Irish suppliers and visiting an Aldi regional distribution centre.
At the AGM that followed, Ciara Leahy, Consumer Editor of Irish Country Living in the Irish Farmers Journal was elected as the new Chair of the Southern Guild at the AGM. Antonina Ni Dhuinn, Progress Communications was appointed as the incoming Secretary while Elaine Crosse, An Bord Bia is now the Treasurer.
Outgoing officers Oonagh O’Mahony (Irish Food magazine), Niall Madigan (IFA) and Rosaleen O’Shaughnessy (An Bord Bia) will remain on the incoming Committee joined by Maeve Desmond (Alltech), Patrick Donohoe (Irish Farmers Journal), Liam Lavelle (Agtel), David Markey (IFP Media) and Damien O’Reilly (RTE).
Ray Ryan (Irish Examiner) was elected All-Island President and Brian Donaldson (Impartial Reporter) is the new international delegate.
Incoming Chair Ciara Leahy has been a member of the Guild of Agricultural Journalists for over eight years. Speaking at the AGM she said “I have seen at first-hand how effective the organisation is in bringing people together, encouraging them to share ideas, build links and develop new ideas. This coming together isn’t just between agricultural journalists, it encompasses those working in communications right throughout the agri sector.”
“As the incoming Chair of the Guild of Agricultural Journalists, I look forward to planning events for our members which are informative, educational, practical and applicable to the work they do and the stories they write. I aim to achieve this within the warm, relaxed and welcoming environment that is characteristic of the Guild,” said Ciara.
“Being a member of the Guild also gives us access to an international network, and the opportunity to travel and build connections with journalists right across the world. Having experienced this myself and set up links with journalists in Australia, America and across Europe, it is a learning experience of the Guild which I plan to highlight more to our members,” said Ciara.
Speaking at the AGM, Oonagh O’Mahony said that during her time as Chair, she heard repeatedly from international counterparts that we are very lucky in terms of the support that we have from industry. “As a Committee, we have worked hard to create engaging events for our members and we have had great support from several sponsors over the past two years. I am extremely grateful for that and hope that these relationships can be maintained long into the future,” said Oonagh.
“Over the past few years the Guild has also seen an influx of new members and there is a great mix of experience throughout the member base. I think there are great opportunities through the Guild, for members to network and to learn from the experiences of our peers. The Guild is an important resource for members and I would encourage everyone to take every opportunity it presents, whether that’s events, competitions or networking, either at home or internationally.”