Two-horse race for ICSA presidency

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Declan O'Brien

Declan O'Brien

The ICSA presidential battle looks likely to be a south Munster contest between Edmond Phelan and Dermot Kelleher.

While others could throw their hats in the ring, ICSA sources indicated that the ballot is likely to come down to a choice between Phelan and Kelleher.

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The contest to succeed Patrick Kent is expected to be very tight affair.

"Both men have been in ICSA for a long time. When it comes to voting time I don't imagine either candidate would have a runaway win.

"They both have a chance," a senior representative with the organisation told the Farming Independent.

The two leading candidates were described as "capable and experienced" by another member of the association.

He maintained that a "safe pair of hands" was needed at the helm of the ICSA at the moment.

Phelan is a beef farmer from Fenor, Co Waterford who specialises in finishing cattle. He has previously served as ICSA beef chairman, from 2012 to 2017, and before that he was the Munster vice-president. He has also served on the ICSA management committee.

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Kelleher is a suckler farmer from Inchigeela, Co Cork who specialises in pedigree Charolais, as well as having a commercial suckler herd.

He's currently the ICSA Munster vice-president and was the ICSA suckler chairman from 2011 to 2016. He has also served on the ICSA management committee, and has been West Cork ICSA chairman.

The closing date for nominations for the position is Friday, May 24. The ballot will take place on Thursday, June 27.

The ICSA election follows the resignation of Mr Kent. The Wexford farmer stepped down to join the campaign team of Mick Wallace, the Independents 4 Change TD, who is a MEP candidate.

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