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‘Fearless defender of farmers’ – tributes as former IFA president Padraig Walshe dies suddenly


Former IFA president Padraig Walshe

Former IFA president Padraig Walshe

Former IFA president Padraig Walshe

Ireland’s farming community is “in shock” after the sudden death of former IFA president Padraig Walshe earlier today.

IFA president Tim Cullinan paid tribute to Mr Walshe, describing him as a “fearless” defender of farmers.

He said farmers across the country are “in shock” at the loss of a respected advocate for agriculture.

“This is devastating news for his family,” Mr Cullinan said. “On behalf of the farming community, I want to extend our condolences to his family and friends. This is a huge loss for them and it’s a very difficult time.

“Padraig Walshe leaves a strong legacy of leadership of farmers, from his time as president of Macra na Feirme, to president of the IFA and also as the first Irish leader to head up the European group of farmers COPA.”

Mr Walshe was said to have been at the centre of the farming sector, stating that science was the way forward for agriculture.

He was elected as the president of Macra na Feirme in 1987 and subsequently served as chairman of the IFA Dairy Committee and as IFA national treasurer.

In 2006, he became the 12th president of the Irish Farmers Association and, in 2009, he was elected by farm leaders from across Europe as president of COPA.

Mr Walshe chaired Farmer Business Developments Plc following his roles in the IFA and continued as a director of FBD until his death.

A dairy farmer from Durrow, Co Laois, Mr Walshe is survived by his wife Ella, three daughters and a son.

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