Battle for IFA presidency to go down to the wire
The largest farm organisation in the country should have a new president by 7pm this evening, when votes from 945 IFA branches from right across the 26 counties will have been tallied at the count centre at the Castleknock Hotel in Dublin.
The farm lobby already has a new dairy chairman in the form of Cork's Sean O'Leary. The Mallow-based Dairygold supplier has been the vice chairman of the committee for the last four years and takes over from outgoing Kevin Kiersey. He saw off challenges from Tipp's TJ Maher and Kilkenny's Tom Prendergast.
However, all eyes will be on west Dublin this evening with the race for both the presidency and deputy presidency going down to the wire.
Tim O'Leary is being talked of as the potential surprise on the night, with the former long-shot for the post of deputy president reported to have made serious inroads on JJ Kavanagh's lead.
No observers are prepared to make a call on which way the contest for the top job will go, with both Jer Bergin's and Eddie Downey's teams talking up a great result.
Most pundits are suggesting that Kerry's James McCarthy might be the surest bet to win tonight. He has been battling a three-way contest for the role of Munster chairman with Waterford's Kevin Kiersey and Limerick's Eddie Scanlan.
The successful candidates will take up their roles at the IFA's AGM in early January.