Competition heats up for Dairygold board seats
TWO OF the IFA's leading lights in North Cork are expected to be in the running for a seat on the Dairygold board which is being vacated in December.
Pat O'Keeffe is stepping down from the board in December after serving the maximum allowed term for the Mitchelstown area.
The battle to replace Mr O'Keeffe, a son of former Fianna Fáil TD Ned, will involve local IFA stalwarts Mary Twomey Casey and Martin Doherty, as well as Patrick Clancy from Ballyporeen, Co Tipperary.
Ms Twomey Casey is a former chairperson of North Cork IFA and is currently chair of the county's dairy committee. Mr Doherty is chair of North Cork's rural development committee.
Mr Clancy also has strong pedigree in farm politics, with his father having served as a chair of Mitchelstown Creamery prior to its merger with Ballyclough to form Dairygold.
The chairmanship of the Dairygold board is also up for decision, as James Lynch's term at the helm is set to end next month.
A Dairygold spokesperson confirmed that the elections for both positions will be completed by the end of December, saying: "Chairman James Lynch and Pat O'Keeffe have each served their maximum tenure and will be retiring at the end of the year.
"I can confirm that we are progressing our year-end rotational election process for members of the society's representative structure. "The process will be completed in December."
Another vacancy on the board could become available should Donal Buckley lose his seat on the co-op's 60-strong general committee.
Three candidates are vying for two positions in the Mallow area. Should Mr Buckley fail to get elected to the general committee he will have to stand down from the Dairygold board. The other two candidates are Peter Twomey, who is a sitting member of the general committee, and Donal Barrett, a member of co-op's 180-strong regional committee.
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