Cork a key decider in #IFAElections as Downey support high

Early voting trends indicate that Meath man Eddie Downey may well carry the day in the Irish Farmers Association (IFA) presidential elections.

Counting votes got under way at 9.30 this morning and within an hour of this process commencing , Downey was polling particularly well in Connacht and North Leinster. With 219 of the 945 branch results counted Downey had notched up 268 votes to Jer Bergin’s 166.

Initial trends indicate that Downey has attracted a large block of support in counties Longford, Cavan, Galway, Meath and Dublin.

In Munster the results are mixed with the other candidate Bergin polling well in Clare, Cork North  and Tipperary North. He is also faring well in Kilkenny and Wexford.

Bu the South of the country has also seen Downey support levels running high in Waterford, Kerry and Tipperary South. Couting will continue until around 7pm this evening. However, it’s likely that the name of the new IFA President will be known well before then.

On his way into the count centre at 11am Downey told AgriLand that the results from Cork will be critical in determining who carries the day.

“If we can come away with 50 per cent of the vote across the County of Cork, then we will be in with more than a fighting chance,” he stressed.

“The early results from Limerick are also extremely encouraging. Let’s hope we can just maintain all of this early momentum.”

Downey went on to say that the results form Co Leitrim will also be important in determining the overall result of the IFA presidential race.

He continued: “But it’s still very early days. The coming hours will tell how exactly each candidate has fared.”

The past weeks have seen Downey campaigning heavily on what he regards as the need for a Farmers Charter that will work to reduce the level of bureaucracy and red tape that is currently confronting producers the length and breadth of the country.

He also believes that farmers must receive sustainable prices for their produce.

“I have also be addressed the issue of input costs,” he stressed.

“Irish farmers continue to pay exorbitant prices for all of the primary commodities they utilise within their businesses, fertiliser and fuel being two of the most obvious examples.

“Steps must be taken at an industry level to allow farmers access these inputs at realistic levels, thereby helping to sustain their businesses for the long term.”

Additional reporting Lisa Deeney and Ciaran Moran