Farm Ireland

Monday 23 April 2018

IFA's future lies in the grassroots' hands

Recent events have exposed a major failing in the way the IFA conducts its business, but they have also highlighted its traditional major strength - its grassroots structures at branch and county levels.

Had I been asked a month ago, I would have said the branch structure is dead. The only time meetings ever attract a decent crowd is once every four years for the election of national officers.

However, at recent emergency meetings, the crowds have been a multiple of the normal attendance. Does that mean the branch structure is safe? No. But it's there for the saving, if that's what the grassroots want. Because it is the grassroots that will decide if the association is saved and in what form.

At some point along the road, the tail started wagging the dog. Now the dog has had enough.

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