The gloves are off as race for IFA presidency enters final furlong
The race for the top job in the IFA is tightening as the campaign enters the critical final four-week period.
Observers believe that Jer Bergin has made serious inroads into the massive lead that Eddie Downey had at the beginning of the campaign and seasoned observers are finding it harder to call the final outcome.
"They both appear to be adopting a late burst strategy because there doesn't seem to have been as much door-to-door campaigning as was witnessed during the last election," said one midlands source.
Greater apathy towards the election appears to be a feature of this year's contest, with some predicting that the vote will be back by at least 20pc on 2009/10.
"The absence of contests for the regional positions in Connacht, South Leinster and North Leinster and Ulster means that members are less engaged in whole election issue," said a Connacht-based member.
Laois native Jer Bergin has secured the support of a number of very high profile past and present IFA leaders, including former presidents Pádraig Walshe and John Dillon, former regional president Michael Silke and current livestock chairman Henry Burns.
Pádraig Walshe is now seen as spearheading the drive to recruit the large dairy vote in the Munster area, with some speculation about a link up between Bergin's team and Tim O'Leary, who is contesting the election for deputy president.