IFA livestock committee elects Laois farmer as vice-chair

The National Livestock Committee of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) has elected a Co. Laois farmer as its new vice-chairperson.

Declan Hanrahan is a suckler and beef farmer from Borris-in-Ossory, Co. Laois, and is the livestock representative for the county.

In keeping with government guidelines for Covid-19, a postal ballot of the committee members was held, rather than voting in person.

Hanrahan succeeds Brendan Golden, who became the chairperson of the National Livestock Committee in January.

“I’m looking forward to working with the chairperson on the many issues facing beef farmers. The key priority for the committee is to secure a fair price for beef farmers that reflects their work and investment,” Hanrahan commented.

“The shape of the next CAP [Common Agricultural Policy] will also be very important, as it has to recognise the income difficulties in the sector,” he added.

As vice-chairperson of the National Livestock Committee, Hanrahan will attend meetings of the IFA National Council.

This is the second election to be held in recent months by postal ballot. Kevin O’Boyle was recently elected chairman of the National Liquid Milk Committee in this way.

Cullinan ‘astounded’ by PGI application

In other IFA-related news, Tim Cullinan, the association’s president, said this week that he was “astounded” by the details of Bord Bia’s proposed application for protected geographical indication (PGI) status for Irish beef.

He said: “Bord Bia has gone back on its commitments to treat all categories of animal the same. It has banned all young bulls and other categories of animals [from the PGI] even if they meet the grass-fed criteria.

“It also appears to have removed the latitude for animals to be indoors for longer…in certain circumstances.

“This may be needed in some years in parts of the country where animals have to be housed earlier, due to weather conditions,” he explained.