IFA president-elect to attend North Tipp AGM tomorrow

The incoming president-elect of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA), Tim Cullinan, is to attend the North Tipperary IFA annual general meeting tomorrow night.

Cullinan, a former North Tipperary IFA county chairperson, will be guest speaker on the night.

The meeting will take place tomorrow, Tuesday night, January 14, at 8:00pm in the Abbey Court Hotel, Nenagh.

Speaking ahead of the event, North Tipperary IFA county chairperson Imelda Walsh said:

“At the AGM, I would expect that Tim will talk a bit about the campaign and what it was like.

While we’re a small island nation we’re very diverse in relation to land types and everything else. There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’.

The chairperson noted that veganism and how farmers are portrayed will be discussed. “There are so many things that are going to be centre-stage from when he takes over. Brexit and CAP will also be covered.”

She added that Tim will share “what he’s learned from the grass-root members and what they want to see in the organisation going forward.

“I’m sure he’ll share some of his plans with us in North Tipperary in relation to where he’s going [with his presidency].

“Everyone is welcome, members and non-members alike. We’re all farmers and if farmers want to come in and hear  what Tim has to say, they’re more than welcome.”

Cullinan’s campaign

Walsh, who was Cullinan’s campaign manager during his successful presidential campaign, also gave insight into the incoming president’s drive for top job, explaining:

“For Tim the journey really begins now.

He resonated with the grass-roots members around the country; I’d put that down to why we won the election.

“Tim’s whole campaign was a campaign of change in relation to how we’re doing things. I think that’s what farmers and farming families wanted.

“I think it’s important that there’s a greater connection between organisations, whatever they may be, and their members across all sectors.

“That’s going to be the job of work in particular with the whole beef side of the house and everything else.

“We do need a unified voice for all farmers because the more voices we have, the less we’re actually heard – and that is a concern; because if we’re all looking for different things, it’s easy to pick it all up one by one; whereas if we all stand together with a strong united voice, representing all our sectors [it is more effective].”

For Tim coming in as president, it isn’t just one sector. While beef is probably the one in the most turmoil, all sectors are vulnerable.

“One thing we all are is we’re all farmers. We need to stand united and strong – and we need strong leadership,” Walsh concluded.