Joe Healy sets out his stall early for IFA President

IFA Presidential candidate Joe Healy has said that all he wants to be paid, should he get elected, are his vouched expenses and a person to run his farm.

Healy said that it’s a 100-hours a week job and that he would be all over the country and Europe that he just wants someone to look after his dairy farm.

He said that he thinks he can unite the organisation and has been going to meetings where he said there’s been a huge amount of anger.

“The word from around the country was the need for someone outside the perceived hierarchy of the IFA with an untarnished reputation.

“They put my name forward just before the Christmas, I thought about it over Christmas because it’s a huge decision and a huge task ahead of me.”

Last Monday week Healy said he decided to put his name in the hat and there was a lot of work put in to get the five signatures he needed which were secured by Saturday evening.

I didn’t enter it to lose it – I’m in this race to be the next President of IFA.

“It’s not going to be easy; the next two months and talking to and meeting members of IFA around the country – it’s going to be difficult.

“I’m fairly confident; there’s a lot of support from the south and the south east and from different parts all over the country.

“I want to work hard to rebuild the trust that the members lost and to restore credibility to the organisation.”

Healy also said that he wants to push for sustainable farm incomes for farmers.

Under new code of conduct, all candidates will have to declare any business interests; Healy said he had nothing to declare.

“All I do outside is I’m a columnist for the Farming Independent and I’m on the Farm Business Committee of IFA and Chair of the Commonages Implementation Committee.”

County executive meetings are expected to start from February 8 through March for seven weeks and with 29 county executives, Healy said there will be head-to-head meetings and question and answer sessions at those meetings.

Depending on the number of Deputy Presidential candidates going forward they will try to have the candidates for both President and Deputy President meetings on the same night, he said.

It is expected that at the next Executive Council meeting will be held on February 2, and nominations for the Deputy President and Regional Chairs will have a closing date of February 3.

3 candidates with just hours to go

Three candidates have been confirmed with just hours to go to the deadline for nominations. Henry Burns, Joe Healy and Flor McCarthy have all submitted their signed nominations to IFA HQ.