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Independent.ie

Monday 29 May 2017

Healy pledges to give IFA members 'a new beginning'

IFA presidential candidate Joe Healy pictured with his wife Margaret and daughters Kiara, Anna and Nicole at the official launch of his campaign in Athenry last weekend. Photo: Eirefoto
IFA presidential candidate Joe Healy pictured with his wife Margaret and daughters Kiara, Anna and Nicole at the official launch of his campaign in Athenry last weekend. Photo: Eirefoto

Martin Ryan

IFA presidential candidate Joe Healy has pledged that, if elected, he will "drive change" in the association and provide farmers with "a new beginning".

Speaking at the launch of his campaign in Athenry last weekend, Mr Healy said the IFA payments scandal had "rocked" the association, and "totally undermined" farmer trust and confidence in the body.

"Members realise that the recent troubles were an internal issue. The difficulties were caused by a failure of the IFA's internal governance.

"We cannot allow this to happen again," said Mr Healy.

"We need a changed IFA. An IFA that is open, transparent and accessible to all."

Meanwhile, the election for IFA deputy president is shaping into a three candidate contest following hectic last minute activity over the weekend to secure the necessary support ahead of tomorrow's deadline.

Monaghan's Nigel Renaghan has lodged his completed nomination with the IFA, while former national dairy chair, Richard Kennedy from Limerick, and Kildare county chair Pat Farrell, confirmed that their completed nominations will be lodged ahead of the 5.30pm deadline on Wednesday.

"Mess"

Mayo county chairman, Padraig Joyce, who has been nominated for both deputy president and regional chairman by his home county, was keeping his "options open" last night as the campaign for the regional chair in the west became more complicated with one source describing it as "a right mess".

Galway, Mayo, Sligo and Roscommon have each nominated their own candidates, Tom Turley, Padraig Joyce, Eddie Devitt, and John O'Beirne respectively.

Leitrim executive nominated Desmond McHugh, current county vice chair, at a meeting last week before being informed by county chairman, James Gallagher that he had promised his signature to Roscommon's John O'Beirne.

Mr O'Beirne is the only candidate fully nominated for the post in the west, but the outcome of who makes it to the ballot paper is expected to go down to the wire with one of the nominated candidates expected to withdraw and support another candidate.

In North Leinster, the outgoing regional chair, Bert Stewart of Monaghan, looks set to become the only unopposed candidate in the country.

In South Leinster, James Murphy (Kilkenny), outgoing regional chairman, is understood to be through and horticultural producer, PJ Jones of Dublin, is expected to be added to the list.

The contest for the Munster regional chair is shaping into a head-to-head between John Coughlan, Cork North and John O'Brien, Cork Central.

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