Splinter groups could take ‘frightening’ financial toll on IFA

An Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) presidential candidate has expressed concern over the financial toll that splinter groups could have on the organisation.

IFA presidential candidate and Co. Tipperary pig farmer, Tim Cullinan, told farmers at the IFA presidential debate in Navan last night, Monday, November 12: “I’m very concerned about the IFA brand being diluted.”

“If we had to be doing our job correctly over the last few years, would we have five or six farm organisations all around the place tonight?”

Cullinan said that splinter groups leaving the IFA is “financially costing us as well”.

It’s costing us €10.5 million a year to run it [the IFA]. We may as well be straight here, because of where we are at tonight, I think we’re going to head back into a deficit again.

Continuing, Cullinan – who is currently the IFA’s treasurer – said: “In March of this year, we had the association back to a deficit of €200,000 but with what has happened in the livestock sector in the past six to eight months, that figure will be frightening by next March.”

He continued: “Unity is about bringing everybody together. A substantial number of our members have joined other groups but the majority of them are still our members.”

Concluding, Cullinan said: “There’s a huge job of work to pull that together again.”