Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Monday 23 April 2018

Quain rules out bid for ICMSA top job

ICMSA dairy chairman Gerald Quain has confirmed he will not contest the post of president that is due to be vacated by John Comer in December.

The odds on farmers being plunged into leadership election mode before the end of the year are lengthening after a potential ICMSA challenger has ruled himself "definitely out" of the contest.

ICMSA Dairy Chairman, Gerald Quain has confirmed that he will not be a candidate for the presidency of the organisation to be decided in December.

Contrary to speculative media reports on his candidacy for the position, the Charleville dairy farmer, has categorically denied that he has any intention of allowing his name to go forward and emphatically ruled himself out.

"I am aware of the speculation, but I am definitely out and have no intention of going for the leadership - I never had" he said.

Deputy President, Pat McCormack (Tipperary), the most likely successor, has yet to confirm his intention to run for the leadership when the outgoing John Comer completes the maximum leadership duration of three two year terms next December.

"I have made no decision yet - it won't come up until the end of the year" he said.

To be eligible for the election,  he requires the support of his local area for his return to national council and is unlikely to make his leadership intentions known for some time, pending the outcome of the local and council ICMSA elections.

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Nevertheless, if he was to retreat from the leadership it would come as a great blow to the organisation, and the odds remain heavily in his favour to succeed to the presidency before the end of the year.

The President is elected by the ICMSA national council which comprise of 101 members with representation for each county relative to the membership contributions.

The ICMSA officership is in line for sweeping changes with the election of a new Deputy President and several commodity chairmen set to create an 'open season' election mode.

Within the organisation Michael Guinan, chairman Beef Committee,  Lorcan McCabe, chairman, Farm Business Committee, and Patrick Rohan, chairman, Rural Development Committee are all stepping down, while outgoing Deputy President, Pat McCormack is also completing his maximum tenure in the position.

The president, deputy president, and regional chairmen within IFA also complete their terms of office at the year end, but are eligible for re-election for a further period of two years, following the rule change to reverse the four year of office to the former two two-year terms.

While there has been some increase in activity by likely candidates observed over recent weeks, the odds on a challenge to President, Joe Healy or Deputy  President, Richard Kennedy appear to have eased, with both moving towards an odds-on position of being returned unopposed.

Likely contenders feel that the commitments on reform of the IFA which were pledged to by all of the candidates during the intense election in 2016 have yet to be finalised and the national office holders should be given further time to achieve the targets set out.

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