IFA battle hots up in Munster
Munster is turning into the hotbed of electioneering as three IFA candidates battle it out for the regional chairmanship.
The three other regional chairs are effectively done deals, but the situation is very different in Munster, with three farmers from three different counties vying for the chair.
While it was originally a showdown between Waterford's national dairy chairman Kevin Kiersey and Limerick's dry-stock county chairman Eddie Scanlan, the emergence of Kerry dairy farmer James McCarthy has turned the race on its head.
While some believe that it may be a straight shoot-out between the dairy candidates, Mr Scanlan has completed the most comprehensive canvass to date. He is expected to poll well in Limerick, and in Clare and Tipperary. Mr Kiersey is expected to show well in the eastern half, while Mr McCarthy should win out in the southwest.
That leaves Cork north and central as the key battlegrounds. Some speculate that the Waterford man's support for a 3pc cut to the SFP to fund decoupling could come against him in this dairy heartland.
Mr McCarthy's team is also regarded as a very shrewd operation. But it will take a lot to trump Mr Kiersey's four years of access to key branch and county representatives in a year when voting is confined to branch delegates for the first time.