IFA members stage walk out on Fianna Fail TD
Up to 10 IFA members walked out in protest at the North Tipperary IFA AGM this week over guest speaker Fianna Fail TD Jackie Cahill.
According to sources at the meeting, an initial objection to Cahill was raised around an allegation that Cahill, when he was involved in ICMSA, had broken an IFA picket some 20 years ago.
Others then objected to the presence of Cahill on political grounds.
On the night, up to 10 people walked out before Cahill stood up to address the meeting, including one former county chairman – Mattie Butler – but another five former county chairmen remained.
Cahill explained to the meeting that the beet pulp incident had occurred approximately 20 years ago and that he had ordered the pulp in good faith that it was ‘passing a picket’ which was taking place around the same time.
Cahill also said this was the fourth or fifth IFA meeting that he has been invited to address since becoming a TD for North Tipperary last year.
IFA North Tipperary Chairman Tim Cullinane, who invited Cahill to the AGM, defended this decision to invite Cahill and said other politicians from other political parties have been invited to and have spoken at previous North Tipperary IFA meetings. “We have had Alan Kelly and Noel Coonan talk at events previously and there was no issue.”
North Tipperary IFA Executive President Philp Kinane, who confirmed that a number of people left the room, said he did not object to Jackie Cahill speaking on the night, but did voice his reservations at the meeting.