Farm Ireland

Sunday 18 March 2018

Is Buckley in line for a Dairygold board return?

Declan O'Brien

Declan O'Brien

There is growing speculation that Vincent Buckley, former chairman of both Dairygold and Irish Dairy Board (IDB), could be set for a dramatic return to the southern co-op's board.

The move follows the failure of current Dairygold board member Liam Foley to get elected to the co-op's regional board last week.

Under Dairygold Co-op rules, only those who are elected to the 60-member regional board are eligible to go forward for election to the 10-member co-op board.

Mr Foley, who farms at Donaghmore, Co Cork, and was a former IFA national dairy committee chairman, must now step down from the co-op board.

He ran for election in the Mallow district, but failed to get sufficient support from the 33 farmer voters to secure any of the four seats on offer.

When asked if there had been an orchestrated campaign to remove him from the board, Mr Foley said it was "not for him to comment".


Local Dairygold sources suggested that Mr Foley's removal was influenced by his past support for former Dairygold chief executive Jerry Henchy.

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Anger has been expressed by some co-op suppliers over the settlement that was reached between Mr Henchy and Dairygold in their recent High Court battle.

The deal saw Dairygold agree to make a contribution of €196,800 towards Mr Henchy's legal costs.

However, Mr Foley denied that there was any link between the Henchy settlement and last week's vote.

"I would see no connection," Mr Foley said.

It is understood that the closing date for nominations for the vacant board seat will be in the second week of December, with the election held before Christmas.

Among the possible candidates are well known Cork IFA personality Mary Twomey Casey and Vincent Buckley.

Mr Buckley was forced to step down as IDB chairman after he left the Dairygold board when his five-year term ended.

However, he is eligible to stand again for election.

Irish Independent