ICSA committee elections ‘tighten up’ ahead of AGM

The Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA) will appoint a new Beef Committee chairman and a new Rural Development Committee chairman at its annual general meeting (AGM) tomorrow.

After two terms as presiding official, the time has come for outgoing beef chair Edmond Phelan, from Co. Waterford, to hand over the reins.

The position is being contested by Monaghan man, Edmund Graham, who is the current vice-chair of the Beef Committee and the association’s current Roscommon chairman, Ger Grehan.

Meanwhile, the association’s current Rural Development Committee chairman Seamus Sherlock – who was narrowly defeated in his campaign to be elected ICSA president last month – is going for re-election.

The Limerick man is up against Sligo-based challenger Gabriel Gilmartin – current chairman of ICSA’s Sligo branch. Gilmartin served as president of the ICSA from 2009 until 2013.

With all candidates canvassing hard for the top spots, sources say the competition is “very tight” between the contenders. The new chairmen will be elected by the organisation’s 114 national executives.

The organisation’s AGM and annual conference will take place tomorrow (January 25) at the Abbeyleix Manor Hotel, Abbeyleix, Co. Laois. The conference’s opening session will commence at 5:30pm.

Guest speakers on the night include: Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed; ICSA president Patrick Kent; and leading agricultural consultant Owen O’Driscoll.

The theme for this year’s conference is ‘The Future of Food and Farming’. Various trade stands will also be set up at the event – including Mosche Swivel Slurry Spreaders; Cesar (DNA security marketing); Back to Earth (soil nutrients) and The Forestry Company.