Elections for the top positions on the board of Kerry Co-op are taking place today (Tuesday, December 14).

The board of directors were due to elect a new chair and vice-chair last week (Tuesday, December 7), however due to the Status Red Weather Warning issued by Met Éireann because of Storm Barra, the vote was postponed.

The December meeting of the Kerry Co-op board will kick off at 10:30a.m today in Tralee.

Outgoing Kerry Co-op chair

This vote will result in a change at the helm of the Kerry Co-op board for the first time in five years.

Mundy Hayes, who has held the role of chair of Kerry Co-op since 2016, recently announced that he has decided to step down at the December board meeting.

Hayes described leading the board during a “hugely challenging period” and said that he felt now is “the right and appropriate time for change and a fresh perspective”.

The outgoing chair said he is intending to remain “an active director of the board for the coming 12 months”.

Hayes has said he will be available to his successor “to ensure a smooth transition”.


The elections for the 20 directors of the board concluded on Wednesday, December 1, with the inclusion of several new members.

Last year, the number of directors on the Kerry Co-op board stood at 21. In the coming 12 months, it will reduce further to 19, following rule changes.

The Kerry Co-op board members for 2021/2022 are:

  • Mundy Hayes;
  • John O’Sullivan;
  • Shane Wall;
  • John Fitzmaurice;
  • Martin Griffin;
  • John O’Connor;
  • Conor Creedon;
  • Patrick Hanafin;
  • Patrick Rohan;
  • Denis Carroll;
  • Eoghan McCarthy;
  • John Casey;
  • Jim McInerney;
  • Pat O’Donoghue;
  • James Tangney;
  • Fiachra Liston;
  • Seamus Crawford;
  • Victor Gardiner;
  • Denis Donovan;
  • James O’Keeffe.

It is anticipated that two men will contest the election for the role of chair; Denis Carroll and James Tagney.

Carroll has held a seat on the board for three years and was on the advisory committee for 24 years. Tangney was elected to the board of directors last year.

As canvassing continued, sources have indicated to Agriland that the election result may be close.

The change in personnel leading the Kerry Co-op board comes at a pivotal time as crucial decisions will have to be made in relation to the future of milk processing in the south west region.

In April, discussions between Kerry Co-op and Kerry Group on a possible joint venture deal were suspended, after 18 months of talks between the parties.

Milk suppliers and shareholders voiced their concerns at that time that their views were not being sought in advance of any deal being done.

The long-running dispute surrounding the “leading milk price” will also be high on the list of priorities for the next chair of Kerry Co-op, along with the patronage share issue.