Sherlock in bid for top ICSA role

The ICSA president Patrick Kent
The ICSA president Patrick Kent
Louise Hogan

Louise Hogan

The ICSA is gearing up for election mode as another candidate has thrown his hat in the ring for president.

The association's rural development chairman Seamus Sherlock has received a nomination to go forward against the current president Patrick Kent.

Mr Kent is coming towards the end of his second term of two years, and under ICSA rules can stand for a third term.

However, Limerick farmer Mr Sherlock lodged his application to run for the election due to take place in Portlaoise on December 14.

Mr Sherlock, who is well-known from his campaign on debt, barricaded himself into the family home at Feohanagh, Co Limerick in 2012 after he was served with an eviction notice from a bank over outstanding payments.

Mr Sherlock said his main campaign platform will be focused on "keeping the lights on in rural Ireland" where he says many farmers are struggling.

He said more money needs to be put back into farmers' pockets as in many of the schemes, such as Knowledge Transfer, there is little "financial incentive" to take part.

"We have huge issues out there and a lot of farmers asked me to put my name forward," he said.

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The current ICSA president Mr Kent said he felt he had "opened a lot of doors" over the past four years but has more work left to do. He said the ICSA is not funded through levies and his position is not paid.

CAP funding

"It is about giving back and supporting farmers to try and keep rural Ireland alive," said Mr Kent.

"The new CAP needs to be fairer and better funded," he said, adding that the work farmers are doing to combat climate change must be recognised. The president is elected by the national executive made up of around 110 farmers.

Meanwhile, the Tipperary milk supplier and ICMSA deputy president Pat McCormack currently looks likely to be the sole contender in the presidential race.

The current ICMSA president John Comer is due to come to the end of his six-year term this December.

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