Farm leader resigns after accepting spot on Mick Wallace's EU replacement list

The ICSA president Patrick Kent
The ICSA president Patrick Kent
Margaret Donnelly

Margaret Donnelly

The President of the Irish Cattle and Sheep Association (ICSA) has resigned, following a meeting of the organisation today.

A spokesperson for the organisation confirmed that Kent resigned at a meeting of the organisation today.

It comes after the Irish Independent revealed that Kent had accepted being named on MEP candidate Mick Wallace's replacement list.

Kent announced his intention to step down from his position as leader of ICSA with immediate effect at a meeting of the association’s National Executive this evening.

Mr Kent has held the position since 2014, having been re-elected twice during that time.

He had insisted he is "apolitical" despite being named by Independents 4 Change MEP candidate Mick Wallace on his replacement list.

Mr Wallace, who is running for an MEP seat in the South constituency, named Mr Kent in his list of five replacements in the event he is elected and later cannot fulfil the role.

Mr Kent, however, had said he is "not politically active, I'm not running for any position". "I don't believe I'm nailing my colours to any political mast."

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The phone call from Mr Wallace had "come out of the blue" and he has only met the candidate three times.

"I told him that I could not canvass or work for him and if those conditions are accepted, he could put my name on his replacement list. He would probably be better off getting someone working hard for them," he said.

Mr Kent admitted he would quit his role in the farming organisation if he had to step into the MEP job.

During his time at the helm of ICSA, Mr Kent was the first farm leader to push for an EU level auditor to analyse and publicise who makes the profit from beef and to expose retailers or processors who take excess margin from the food chain.

Fracking

Earlier this year, Mick Wallace said both the beef and dairy sector and the gas fracking sector are carbon emitting and have to be scaled back massively.

He said the meat and dairy herds are to Ireland what the coal industry is to Poland and the fracking gas industry is to the United States, namely, a short-sighted cash generator, the expansion of which is undermining the chances of survival of the planet.

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