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IFA president joins the board of FBD as insurer waits for pubs ruling

Tipperary pig farmer Tim Cullinan appointed non-executive director

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Board: IFA president Tim Cullinan on his Co Tipperary pig farm. Photo: Alf Harvey

Board: IFA president Tim Cullinan on his Co Tipperary pig farm. Photo: Alf Harvey

Board: IFA president Tim Cullinan on his Co Tipperary pig farm. Photo: Alf Harvey

Stock market-listed insurer FBD has appointed Irish Farmers Association (IFA) President Tim Cullinan as a non-executive director.

Bar a stand-off in 2016 and 2017, FBD has traditionally offered a non-executive directorship to the sitting IFA president, as a representative of the insurer’s core farmer base. Farm Business Development (FBD) was created by farmers in the 1960s. Chairman Liam Herlihy is also a farmer and former chairman of dairy giant Glanbia. Another former IFA president, Padraig Walshe, is also a current FBD non-executive director.

Mr Cullinan, a Toomevara-based pig farmer has been head of the IFA since last year, he is also a non-executive director of Bord Bia and represents Irish farmers at EU level on COPA, an umbrella representative body for European farmers.

 "I am pleased to welcome Mr Cullinan to the Board,” said Mr Herlihy. “ In addition to his own commercial experience, Mr Cullinan brings to FBD considerable and valuable understanding and insights into Ireland's rural and agricultural communities."

Meanwhile, FBD and as many as a thousand of its publican customers are awaiting a decision of the Commercial Court on whether the pubs are covered for lost earnings during the Covid outbreak under their business interruption policies.

If FBD loses the case the company will be liable. It told shareholders last year that €30m was at risk from the dispute with the pubs, but market sources have put the potential bill at multiples of that.

A decision is expected this month after Mr Justice Denis McDonald in October reserved his judgement following hearings on four test cases brought by pub owners over FBD’s refusal to pay out on business disruption cover. FBD has said that whatever decision the court reaches on the four test cases will apply to all similar claims by publicans.

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