'Apolitical' farm chief accepts spot on EU replacement list

Seat: Mick Wallace named Patrick Kent as one of his five replacements. Photo: Collins
Seat: Mick Wallace named Patrick Kent as one of his five replacements. Photo: Collins
Margaret Donnelly

Margaret Donnelly

Patrick Kent, president of the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers' Association (ICSA), has 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, has named Mr Kent in his list of five replacements in the event he is elected and later cannot fulfil the role.

In 2017, the farming organisation removed then treasurer James Reynolds because of his involvement with the National Party, which it described as being "in the mode of right-wing European movements".

Mr Kent, however, 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."

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.

The association will hold a planned national executive meeting today, but no one in the ICSA was available for comment. Mr Wallace did not respond when contacted.

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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.

Irish Independent

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