IFA quashes speculation around rule change to allow extended presidency

IFA President Joe Healy. Picture: Finbarr O'Rourke
IFA President Joe Healy. Picture: Finbarr O'Rourke
Margaret Donnelly

Margaret Donnelly

An election to determine the next IFA president will take place later this year as planned, the IFA has confirmed, after days of speculation that a rule change could be sought to allow Joe Healy continue in the role.

It comes as speculation was rife among IFA members that a rule change could be sought to allow the Association's current President Joe Healy have an extended term.

Commenting on the speculation in recent days, IFA President Joe Healy said his focus for the next six months is on his work as President.

The move would have required a "substantial" rule to allow Healy, who is in his fourth year as President, continue for one or even two further years. 

It's understood that the idea gained momentum in the past few weeks as the UK's exit from the EU was pushed back to October at the earliest. 

One senior IFA member, who asked to remain anonymous said the move was being mooted in light of the uncertainty around Brexit. 

Another IFA member said there was much cynicism within IFA about the possible change to the rules. "There are certain people it would suit to remain in place for another year or two."

While another senior member said it would be "bad judgement" on the part of IFA if it happened.

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"An election cycle takes the sulphur out of the air. Joe Healy has led a very united National Council, but this move could cause a huge row, which is not what we need in IFA. I could not see myself in favour of it or many members being in favour of it."

It's understood that if the new rule change was implemented it could allow others a roll on of their roles for the duration too, including Deputy President Richard Kennedy.

However, a number of IFA members, some whom are thought to be interested in running for roles of President and Deputy President, would see their bids put on ice. 

Healy was unopposed when he went for his second two-year term in 2017 and was elected Vice President of the European farming organisation Copa-Cogeca at the same time.

Online Editors


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