O'Leary is favourite to take top job - but no shoo-in
Published 26/11/2015 | 02:30
There is now an election in the air as new rules in the Irish Farmers' Association's constitution mean that an election for a replacement must happen within 60 days.
At the moment, the frontrunner in any contest has to be the current acting president, Tim O'Leary.
The Cork dairy farmer surprised many within the IFA ranks when he emerged from nowhere to overwhelmingly win the deputy presidency back in December 2013.
While Mr O'Leary has not worked his way up through the ranks like most who reach his level, his commanding presence was already in evidence as he handled the reins for his president this week.
He is well-connected throughout the agricultural community, not least by virtue of a weekly column written by his wife Katherine in the 'Irish Farmers Journal'.
However, the current treasurer, Jer Bergin, is unlikely to let the chance to challenge for the presidency pass without giving it his best shot.
He contested a hard-fought election with Eddie Downey for the top job two years ago, and the Laois beef farmer has been determined to let history show that he was the man looking to prevent the former general secretary Pat Smith from collecting another €90,000 in top-ups on his pay in 2014 and 2015.
However, both men will find it difficult to convince all grassroots members that they couldn't have done more to expose the pay levels for the top brass.