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Wednesday 21 November 2018

Treaty opponent no stranger to politics

Aideen Sheehan

JAMES Reynolds has been struggling to get a political foothold for many years.

His launch of the Farmers For No campaign yesterday is his most high-profile foray into politics so far.

The 41-year-old bachelor livestock farmer was Longford chairman of the Irish Farmers Association from 1999 to 2003.

He now chairs his local Ballinalee IFA branch, and says the IFA remains his primary focus.

But he has been openly critical of IFA president Padraig Walshe in the past -- sticking up posters criticising his role in the sugar industry's demise at the Ploughing Championships in 2006.

Mr Reynolds made a bid for election to Longford County Council in 2004, as an independent, but only garnered around 200 votes.

He also campaigned for losing Libertas candidate Declan Ganley in the recent European elections -- as chairman of the now defunct party's Longford branch.

He was a member of Fine Gael from 1989 to 1992, rejoining the party in 2007, but leaving last year in protest at the party's support for the Lisbon treaty.

Mr Reynolds has also strongly backed the pro-life cause, and he was closely associated with Youth Defence leader Justin Barrett.

He said he hopes to bankroll his group's 'No' campaign by gaining contributions from his fellow farmers .

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