Strong signs of a three person IFA presidential race

It’s full steam ahead for the Irish Farmers Association (IFA) presidential elections this December, with two candidates already declaring an interest and a third giving very strong indications of entering the field.

Meath man Eddie Downey, who is currently the deputy president of the IFA, will be contesting. So too is Laois man Jer Bergin, the IFA regional vice-president and climate change chairman. Bergin announced his intention to run last February, Downey last March.

Speaking to AgriLand this morning, IFA rural development chairman Kerry’s Flor McCarthy said he is “putting his name out there”.

“I have 10 to 12 days to make up my mind. There is a big opening in Munster. I am under big pressure from the West of Ireland to come into the race. The ball is in my court. I have not yet taken a decision, but yes probably the likelihood is I will be joining the field,” he said.

All three attended this week’s Virginia Show in Cavan.

The deadline for nominations for the IFA presidential elections is mid-October. Each candidate requires nomination from five county executives including their own. The executives in Kerry, Cork, Mayo, Galway, Wexford, Kilkenny among others are much sought after.

Voting takes place in the first two weeks of December across 947 IFA branches across the county. The election count takes place on 21 December. Voting in IFA’s national elections is by proportional representation and each branch vote is weighted to reflect the turn-out of members as follows: 1 vote for 8 to 25 members turning out; 2 votes for 26 to 50 members; 3 votes for 51 to 75 members and 4 votes where over 75 members turnout.

The election count takes place on 17 December and a new president takes office in January.

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