Reminder: ICSA to select new president tomorrow

The Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA) will select a new president tomorrow evening, Thursday, June 27, in an election to be held at the Midlands Park Hotel in Portlaoise, Co. Laois.

Three candidates have put their names forward for the role: Hugh Farrell (the current chairperson of the association’s Animal Health and Welfare Committee); Dermot Kelleher (the current regional vice-president for Munster); and Edmond Phelan (former chairperson of the Beef Committee).

The victorious candidate will lead the organisation for a two-year term up to 2021.

The election and preceding discussion will begin at 7:30pm. The discussion portion of the evening will be chaired by AgriLand news editor Claire Mc Cormack.

Each candidate will make a presentation to the association’s National Executive, which will then be followed by a panel discussion and a question and answer session with the candidates.

Following that, the vote will take place, with the result expected by 9:00pm.

Earlier this week, the three candidates spoke to AgriLand to give their views on the main issues facing agriculture today.

All three candidates agreed that, where climate change is concerned, there was too much of an emphasis on Irish agriculture compared to other industries, as well as agriculture in other parts of the world.

The candidates said that a possible Mercosur trade deal would undercut efforts to mitigate for climate change among Irish farmers.

Regarding the €100 million beef fund, they agreed that the focus must be on beef prices.

Other issues on the candidates’s minds included: farmer incomes; compulsory purchase orders on farmland; and animal health.

The election has been organised following the resignation of former president Patrick Kent, who stepped down in April to take up the role of agricultural advisor to then European Parliament candidate Mick Wallace.