Carbery Group has announced that Cormac O’Keeffe, current chairman of Lisavaird Co-op, will succeed TJ Sullivan as chairman of the company.

Taking up the role of vice-chairman will be Dermot O’Leary, current chairman of Bandon Co-op.

Cormac is a dairy farmer from Courleigh, Clonakilty. He first joined the Lisavaird board in 2006 and has held several roles since.

He has also previously been vice-chairman of Shinagh Estates and a board member of Munster Bovine and the National Cattle Breeding Centre (NCBC).

Cormac holds a diploma in Environmental Science and Social Policy from University College Cork (UCC) and is a member of the Carbery Greener Dairy Farms group.

He is married to Clodagh, and they have three children – James, Laoise and Eoghan.

Carbery – key for west Cork

Commenting on his appointment, he said it was a “great honour”, before adding:

“The company is essential to the farmers of west Cork and is now a significant global business. I am excited about working with my fellow board members and the management team as we continue to focus on growing the business and securing a stable future for the farmers of west Cork and the 900 Carbery employees worldwide.”

He also recognised the work of outgoing chair TJ Sullivan:

“TJ has had a more challenging term than anyone could have imagined in dealing with the sudden arrival of Covid-19 and all that managing that situation has entailed.

“Despite the circumstances, under his tenure we acquired Innova Flavors in the US and successfully completed our €78m cheese diversification project and expansion.

“On behalf of the board and the shareholders, I thank him sincerely for his work during his term and wish him all the best.”

TJ Sullivan will also step down from the Carbery board.