Deadline for nominations for key ICMSA roles looming

The deadline for nominations for key roles within the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA) is looming.

Nominations for the role of president and deputy president must be submitted by Friday, December 8, to be taken into consideration for the positions.

Earlier this week, John Comer addressed the ICMSA’s AGM for the final time as president. He received a standing ovation from those in attendance for the work he has put in for the last six years.

Hailing from Co. Mayo, Comer became a National Council member of the ICMSA in 2000 and was elected as deputy president in 2007.

He first took up the role of president in late 2011 – when he replaced now Fianna Fail TD Jackie Cahill. He has now completed two three-year stints at the helm of the organisation. Comer is scheduled to step away from the role on December 19.

At present, the association’s deputy president Pat McCormack – who farms at Greenane, Co. Tipperary – is the mostly likely candidate to succeed Comer as president. However, nothing is set in stone until the deadline for nominations closes.

McCormack – who chaired the association’s AGM on Monday – was elected dairy chairperson in December 2009 and has been deputy president since December 2011, when he succeeded Comer.

Deputy president role

Meanwhile, nominations are also being taken for the vice president role.

A number of names have been mentioned in relation to this position, including: the chairperson of the Dairy Committee, Gerald Quain (Co. Limerick); the chairperson of the Farm Business Committee, Lorcan McCabe (Co. Cavan); Dairy Committee member, Dennis Drennan (Co. Kilkenny); and National Council member, Desmond Morrison, (Co. Sligo).

Again, nothing is certain until the deadline for nomination closes. But if either position goes to an election, a candidate must secure a minimum of 51 votes from the 101 National Council members to claim the position.

Finances

At the ICMSA’s AGM, it was revealed that the organisation’s income dropped by approximately €250,000 – or close to 20% – in 2016, compared to the previous year.

A spokesperson for the ICMSA explained that the association’s income is intrinsically linked to the milk price received by its members. So when the milk price is down – as it was in 2016 – the ICMSA’s revenue will also drop, the spokesperson added.

The move by meat processor ABP to stop the blanket collection of levies for farm organisations in September 2016 was also a factor in the drop in income, the spokesperson explained.

This is the first year in a long time that the ICMSA’s income has suffered a significant drop and accounts show that organisation still has almost €2 million in the bank.

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