Former Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) Dairy Committee chairman Tom Phelan has been nominated onto the board of Glanbia Cooperative.

The election was held last night (Wednesday, February 17) by Glanbia Co-op’s Donaghmore Monasterevin Region – which incorporates parts of Laois, Offaly, Kildare and Dublin.

Three candidates contested the election in the Donaghmore Monasterevin Region: Noreen Callanan; Paddy McWey; and Phelan.

Subject to ratification by the Glanbia Co-op Council, Phelan will replace Martin Keane on the board after the next annual general meeting of the cooperative.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday night (February 16), Patsy Ahern was re-elected to the Glanbia board in the Castlelyons region, in Co. Cork.

Earlier this month, on Thursday, February 4, Phelan announced his intention to step down as IFA Dairy Committee chairman a year early, having served three years in the role.

A dairy and beef farmer from Co. Laois, he previously chaired his local Glanbia area and regional committees.

He is a former Macra na Feirme Laois county chairman and served on the IFA’s Dairy and Farm Business Committees and as county chairman for Laois.

The Laois farmer also represented the National Dairy Committee on the IFA’s Animal Health Project Team.

When he took on the IFA Dairy chair role in 2018, Phelan outlined his priorities, saying: “Optimising milk price will remain my top priority. Nothing has a bigger impact on dairy farmers’ incomes.”

He also called for the family-farm model to be defended, saying it is “intrinsic to our farming industry”.