Joe Healy takes a dominant lead in IFA election count

Galwayman Joe Healy has taken a dominant lead in the IFA election count to be the next President of the IFA.

The dairy farmer from Athenry has 46% of the votes counted and the votes from his home county of Galway have yet to be counted. It is understood that voting was strong in Galway, and it may be that Healy takes it on the first count.

Some 11,800 votes have been counted in the Castleknock Hotel to elect the 15th President of the IFA and Joe Healy has taken 46% of the first preference votes.

He is currently followed in second place by Kerryman Flor McCarthy who has commanded strong support in Kerry and Munster.

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.

You can follow our live blog of the IFA election here.