McCormack formally elected ICMSA president

Pat McCormack succeeds John Comer as president of the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA) for an initial three-year period, the organisation announced today (Tuesday, December 19).

At a National Council meeting in Limerick, McCormack – a 40-year-old dairy farmer from Co. Tipperary, who had served as deputy president for the last six years and was a previous chair of the Dairy Committee – was appointed unopposed.

Meanwhile, Lorcan McCabe from Co. Cavan was also unopposed in his election as deputy president of the farmers’ group. Up to now, McCabe had chaired the Farm Business Committee – with Shane O’Loughlin from Co. Wicklow being elected to that vacancy as his successor.

Des Morrison of Sligo was elected to chair the Livestock Committee, while Denis Drennan from Co. Kilkenny was elected to chair the Farm and Rural Affairs Committee.

In his first public statement, McCormack paid tribute to his predecessor, John Comer, and said that while the ICMSA will continue to work for and with any group or individual interested in highlighting rural issues, the organisation’s focus will always remain the income of its core family dairy farm membership and the milk price on which that income depends.

He said that the ICMSA refused to accept that the farmers who produced the milk, on which a whole multi-billion euro dairy sector was built, could be considered as some kind of afterthought at the mercy of either the processors or the retailers.

The new president also identified Brexit, Mercosur, the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and the environment as issues that would dominate the opening period of his presidency.

McCormack said that the ICMSA would continue to work within its tradition of “rational and positive solutions aimed at ensuring that the voice of Ireland’s dairy farmers was heard loud and clear” in the formation of policy for Ireland’s farming and agri-food sectors.