Mayo farmer John Lynskey has been elected chairman of the Irish Farmers Association (IFA) National Sheep Committee at a meeting this week. He replaces James Murphy from Co Kilkenny who was National Sheep Chairman for the past four years.

Lynskey farms 45 hectares on the Mayo/Galway boarder. His main enterprise is sheep farming with a flock of 170 Suffolk/Texel/Belclare cross ewes, suckler cows and tillage as well as an agricultural contracting business.

Thanking committee members for their support, Lynskey said his main priorities for sheep farmers and the development of the sector will include: improving farm incomes through strong lamb prices, increased consumption and proper rewards for quality; strong direct payments for sheep farmers through the Single Farm Payment, Sheep Grassland scheme, Environmental and Disadvantaged Area payments; a new targeted payment for sheep in the Common Agricultural Policy Reform; tackling the income and destocking problems in the Hill and Commonage areas as well as developing the breed and markets for light lamb; and reduced bureaucracy and stress on farmers through a New Farmers’ Charter.