IFA accused of attempting to shut down dissenting voices
Published 18/12/2013 | 02:30
A LEADING IFA member in Mayo accused the farm body's head office of not listening to the concerns of ordinary in the west of Ireland.
Former Mayo and national IFA chairperson Michael Holmes said disaffection with the farm body was far more widespread than the association would admit.
The Belmullet farmer also claimed that the organisation was seeking to shut down dissident voices rather than address the concerns raised.
His comments follow an attempt by IFA head office to force a Co Roscommon branch to cast a ballot in the IFA election.
Granlahan branch voted not to cast a ballot in the IFA election, but IFA leaders attempted to re-run the vote in the branch last week. However, the effort failed as a quorum was not reached because only four people registered to vote on the second night.
The response from IFA president John Bryan on Midwest Radio to the protest vote drew a huge reaction in the region, with hundreds of texts and phone calls from farmers into the Tommy Marren show.
"We got more feedback on this interview than anything we've covered over the last five months," said Mr Marren. "He (Mr Bryan) was very dismissive of Granlahan, claiming it was just an isolated incident and everything is fine in the west," said Mr Holmes.
The Mayo county councillor said that the problems within the IFA in the west could not be easily dismissed.