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Tuesday 21 November 2017

Joe Healy returned unopposed for 2nd term as IFA President

Joe Healy on his farm near Athenry, Co Galway. Photo: Ray Ryan
Joe Healy on his farm near Athenry, Co Galway. Photo: Ray Ryan
Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

Galway farmer, Joe Healy will serve a second term as President of the IFA after nominations closed for the position today.

IFA National Returning Officer Jer Bergin today announced that nominations have closed for the positions of IFA President, Deputy President and Regional Chairmen, for which elections take place every two years.

Sitting President Joe Healy was the only nominee and has therefore been returned unopposed for a second term, commencing January 2018.

Healy took over the position following the resignations of Eddie Downey and former general secretary Pat Smith amid a furore over salaries at the top of the orgainisation.

Joe Healy celebrates with his wife, Margaret and daughters Kiara, Anna and Nicole after he was announced as the new president of the Irish Farmers' Association in April last year. Photo: Damien Eagers
Joe Healy celebrates with his wife, Margaret and daughters Kiara, Anna and Nicole after he was announced as the new president of the Irish Farmers' Association in April last year. Photo: Damien Eagers

Healy has stressed the organisation has gone above and beyond any legal accountancy requirements as it strives to deliver transparency to the farm families that back them following the pay revelations.

Healy has aimed to return the organisation to concentrating on the important issues that impact on farmers' pockets through commodity prices has seen sentiment improve.

He has said Brexit is the biggest challenge that has faced Irish agriculture and highlighted the need to look beyond the UK for exports.

The president said new chief executive Damian McDonald, formerly of Horse Sport Ireland and a past Macra president, has been positive for the organisation, bringing experience and business acumen.

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Among the main challenges facing Healy faced during his first two years was to ensure the organisation remained adequately funded.

The 2016 annual report showed membership at 75,829 - a drop on the 88,000 it stated just three years ago.

IFA president Joe Healy in discussions with the EU's chief Brexit begotiator Michel Bernier
IFA president Joe Healy in discussions with the EU's chief Brexit begotiator Michel Bernier

Income had also taken a hit with €18.9m last year, down €1.2m from €20.1m in 2015.

Deputy President Richard Kennedy was also returned unopposed today.

IFA President Joe Healy leads farmers on a protest at the Department of Agriculture on Kildare Street. Picture: Finbarr O'Rourke
IFA President Joe Healy leads farmers on a protest at the Department of Agriculture on Kildare Street. Picture: Finbarr O'Rourke

Former Chairman of Wicklow IFA Tom Short was nominated unchallenged for the position of South Leinster Regional Chairman. He will succeed James Murphy, who will complete his second term at the January 2018 AGM.

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