Rivals gun for top gong
A former chairman of Glanbia plc, two previous candidates for the Munster IFA vice-presidency and a member of the board of the National Ploughing Association (NPA) are among the 'who's who' of Irish agriculture to vie for a prestigious role of honour award this weekend.
Candidates from each of the nine Munster IFA regions will slug it out for the Paddy Fitzgerald Memorial award at Adare, Co Limerick, on Sunday.
The award, which is presented bi-annually, commemorates the late Paddy Fitzgerald, a Limerick-based founding member of National Farmers Association and former Munster IFA vice-president, who devoted a lifetime to the development of the organisation prior to his death more than 22 years ago.
A specially sculptured medallion will be presented to the finalist, who, in the opinion of the panel of judges, has made the biggest voluntary contribution to rural, community and farming life.
Between them the nine finalists for this year's award have contributed more than 500 years to helping farmers, their neighbours and rural communities in a wide variety of ways.
Nominations for the award include: Tom Corcoran, Dungarvan, Co Waterford, a former chairman of Glanbia plc; John Stack, Tarbert, Co Kerry, a candidate for the IFA vice-presidency last year; Neilie O'Leary, Bantry, Co Cork, a former candidate of the Munster IFA vice-president election; and John Sexton, Courtmacsherry, Co Cork, a member of the board of directors of the NPA.
The other finalists are Pat Talty, Kilkee, Co Clare; John P Mullins, Mitchelstown, Co Cork; Robert Ruttle, Kildimo, Co Limerick; Stephen Liffey, Cloughjordan, Co Kerry; and John Flynn, Fethard, Co Tipperary.