Joe Healy elected IFA President after landslide victory

Joe Healy has been elected the 15th President of the IFA following a landslide victory today.

Healy took a dominant lead in the race early in the morning and ended up with 50% of the vote.

The dairy farmer from Athenry had 46% of the votes counted by lunchtime and it was clear from the tallymen around the room that he had an insurmountable lead.

Kerryman Flor McCarthy held onto the second spot early in the day, but it showed a strong Munster bias and after lunch Henry Burns began to pick up votes and passed out McCarthy for second spot.

However, the gap now had Healy with over 10,000 first preference votes by 3pm and it was looking like there was no way Burns could claw back such a lead.

Healy ended with 14,122 first preference votes, Burns received 8,540 and McCarthy got 5,431. It gave Healy 50.28% of the overall vote.

Healy is the first IFA President from the west, since John Donnelly who was the last IFA President from the west, when he won in 1997.

Today’s count comes after weeks of campaigning by the three candidates and debates across the country. Healy has focused his campaign around bringing change to the organisation if elected.

The vacancy within the IFA came after the former President Eddie Downey resigned in November amid pay revelations of the former General Secretary Pat Smith.

The former General Secretary of the IFA’s 2013 salary was €535,000 in total – comprising a basic salary of €295,000, a €150,000 pension contribution and a €60,000 bonus as well as a €30,000 sum from IFA telecom.

It was also revealed that former Presidents were paid in the region of €200,000 a fifth year’s salary on exiting the role.