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Saturday 23 June 2018

Farm organisations getting into election mode

ICMSA president John Comer addresses the group’s AGM in Limerick
ICMSA president John Comer addresses the group’s AGM in Limerick
Europe’s largest outdoor event, is set to return to Screggan, Tullamore, Co Offaly on September 19, 20 and 21. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Martin Ryan

There was be a scent of election fever in the air at this week's Ploughing.

With the top leadership position in two of the country's major farming organisations up for decision over the coming months farmers were subject to some subtle canvassing for their opinions and votes down the line.

Both ICMSA president John Comer from Mayo, and ICSA boss Patrick Kent from Wexford, complete their current terms of office by the end of the year, putting both organisations in election mode.

The return unopposed for a second term of IFA president, Galway's Joe Healy, and deputy president Richard Kennedy of Limerick has consolidated their positions for a further two years, but there will be a head-to-head contest for the position of chairman in the Ulster/North Leinster Region.

There will also be much interest in the position of IFA national treasurer, regarded as a key post within the organisation.

Vacating the position is Jer Bergin of Laois who played a key role in steering the IFA through the most turbulent period in its history arising from the remuneration crisis in November 2015 that saw then president Eddie Downey and general secretary Pat Smith step down from their positions.

ICMSA president John Comer completes his maximum of three two-year terms of office in December, when the 101 members of National Council will decide his successor to take up office with immediate effect.

South Tipperary dairy farmer, Pat McCormack, the outgoing deputy president, remains the odds-on favourite to succeed him.

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He has yet to confirm his intention to run for the position and is considered unlikely to do so prior to his re-election to National Council as Tipperary delegate.

The Tipperary AGM is not expected to be held earlier than November.

The ICSA's president Patrick Kent completes his current term at the upcoming AGM, but he is eligible for re-election for one further two-year term and is strongly expected to remain on in the position, with nominations due by September 29.


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