Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Thursday 23 November 2017

IFA treasurer battle gets under way

Declan O'Brien

Declan O'Brien

Serious lobbying of the new IFA national council got under way this week as a raft of the organisation's heavy hitters battled to become the association's next treasurer.

Ruaidhri Deasy will vacate the post at Tuesday's IFA AGM and his replacement will be voted in by the 50-member national council.

Several of the IFA's leading lights are in the running for the post, including outgoing Leinster vice president JJ Kavanagh, Mary Sherry, former chairperson of the farm family committee, and Seanie O'Leary, who lost out to Eddie Downey in the race for the deputy president post.

It has also been confirmed that Derek Deane, who was defeated by John Bryan in the IFA presidential election, will also be in the hunt for the position. Waterford's Michael Keane is another possible candidate.

One IFA insider described the treasurer job as an "ideal staging post" for anyone intending on running for president. Indeed, the current IFA chief Padraig Walshe and former leader Tom Parlon both spent time in the position.

Balance

IFA insiders claimed it was too early to call the race but both regional considerations and efforts to retain balance among candidates from various farm sectors could influence the council's decision.

Another position up for consideration over the next week is that of national sheep committee chairman.

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James Murphy, from Inistioge, Co Kilkenny, and Sligo sheep farmer Colm O'Donnell are in the running to take over from Henry Burns.

Instrumental

Mr Murphy was a key supporter of Mr Bryan during the recent presidential election -- they are from the same parish -- and was instrumental in organising his overall election strategy and especially his campaign in Galway.

O'Donnell is the outgoing vice-chairman of the sheep committee, having served with Mr Burns in the past few years.

Meanwhile, Mr Bryan will also officially take over as IFA president at next Tuesday's AGM.

Mr Bryan has stated that tackling retailer domi-nance in the food supply chain will be a priority during his term.

He said the Government will have to deliver more effective and rigorous enforcement of food labelling laws.

Protecting Irish farmers' interests during the upcoming CAP reform discussions and securing a decent payment for farmers from the replacement scheme for REPS would also be high on the agenda for this year, Mr Bryan stated.

Irish Independent