A united IFA is needed to return viable margin to farmers – Joe Healy

The new President of the IFA, Joe Healy has said that a united IFA is necessary to return a viable margin to farmers.

Healy was elected the 15th President of the IFA in a landslide victory, taking it on the first count with 50.28% of first preference votes. However, it was obvious to many in the count centre in Castleknock as soon as the voting slips were released from their envelopes that it was a one-man race.

The Joe Healy campaign was all about change he said throughout the campaign that he would bring it about in the organisation if he was elected.

This evening, the former Macra President said unity would be key in the future of the IFA and ensuring farmers receive a sustainable income from farming.

He said that the IFA had been through a tough time, but it would come out better from the past few months to fight the future.

Joe Healy mentioned Mercosur, issues across sectors such as pigs and tillage and said it would only be through a united organisation that IFA could achieve a viable margin for farmers going into the future.

“The current level farmers receive for their produce is not sustainable and its not good for farmers or their families or the rural economy.”

Healy thanked everyone for their support thoughout the campaign and made special reference to his campaign manager Anne Mitchell and advisor John Donnelly, a former President of the IFA. He also acknowledged the former President of the IFA Eddie Downey and his work, who was present at the count from early afternoon.

Healy, a dairy farmer from Athenry, thanked his wife Margaret and three young children as well as his mother and supporters. However, he singled out his campaign manager Anne Mitchell and advisor, former IFA President John Donnelly, for their help in his campaign.

Joe Healy said he had been up against the best in Flor McCarthy and Henry Burns, the two runner ups in the election.