IFA seeks new rules over fears of rushed election of president
Published 04/12/2015 | 02:30
The Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) look anxious to avoid a hurried election as moves are afoot to delay the voting for several months.
In the aftermath of the pay controversy that saw former general secretary Pat Smith and former president Eddie Downey step down, the IFA has opened nominations for the next president.
However, steps have been taken to change the current rules which would give the national council, that governs the body, "greater flexibility on the timing of an election".
Under current IFA rules an election must take place within two months. However, the new measure would see the council decide on when to stage the election by a majority vote.
Jer Bergin, the national returning officer and treasurer, said the move would give "flexibility to the council" and they wanted to deliver a "sound election".
"In the period of turmoil I think the work as returning officer is the best I can do to bring stability back," he said.
Deputy president and Cork dairy farmer Tim O'Leary has declared his interest in running, while IFA's Kerry-based rural development committee chair Flor McCarthy has confirmed he is considering running.
But Carlow IFA chair Derek Dean, who raised concerns over transparency and the salary paid to the former secretary general Pat Smith, questioned the move to change the rules.