D-day for #IFAElections Downey in the lead

The 14th president of the Irish Farmers Association (IFA), Ireland’s largest farming organisation, is expected to be announced at 7pm today.

Counting of election votes from 945 IFA branches is currently under way at the count centre in the Castleknock Hotel in Dublin. In the top race, south Leinster vice-president Jer Bergin and deputy president Eddie Downey are vying to become the next IFA president.

Downey is a tillage, poultry and suckler farmer from Slane, Meath. His campaign was directed by Meath dairy farmer Diarmuid Lally and Derek Cunnigham, former press advisor to Mary Harney.

Bergin is a beef, tillage and suckler farmer from Ballacolla, Laois and his main support came from former IFA president, Padraig Walshe. Former Teagasc public relations officer Michael Miley directed the media side of his campaign.

Latest figures from the IFA show Downey in the lead. Counting on 10 per cent of branches has been confirmed at 10.30am, with Downey securing 112 votes and Bergin 88.

In addition, the association’s national treasurer JJ Kavanagh and Cork Central Farm Business rep Tim O’Leary are running for the position of IFA deputy president.

Figures this morning show in this race 15 per cent of branches have been counted, with JJ Kavanagh at 57 and O’Leary at 92.

Also three candidates are contesting the position of Munster chairman, former Kerry IFA Chairman James McCarthy, IFA’s current national dairy chairman Kevin Kiersey from Waterford and  former Limerick IFA chairman Eddie Scanlan. Voting in this campaign started at lunchtime.