A total of four Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) presidential debates will take place this week – three of which will be in Connacht and one in Co. Westmeath.

To date, the three IFA presidential candidates – John Coughlan, Tim Cullinan and Angus Woods – and the two deputy presidential candidates – Thomas Cooney and Brian Rushe – have taken part in five debates in counties Limerick, Kerry, Cork, Waterford and Kilkenny.

This week, debates for the following counties will take place in:
  • Galway, Raheen Woods Hotel, Athenry, on Monday, November 4;
  • Mayo, Travellers Friend Hotel, Castlebar, on Tuesday, November 5;
  • Roscommon/Sligo/Leitrim, The Bush Hotel Carrick-on-Shannon, on Wednesday, November 6;
  • Longford/Westmeath, Mullingar Park Hotel, on Thursday, November 7.

All meetings will commence at 8:00pm.

Tension mounting in presidential debate

The IFA presidential debate took a fiery turn on Friday night last, November 1, when IFA presidential candidate Tim Cullinan launched a scathing criticism of one of his opposing candidates in the race, Angus Woods.

The Co. Tipperary pig farmer’s remarks came on the back of comments made by Woods – a sheep, suckler and tillage farmer from Co. Wicklow – at last week’s hustings event at the Springhill Hotel in Co. Kilkenny.

At the event Woods defended his own role as chairman of the IFA’s National Livestock Committee, and defended the work of the committee over the course of recent years – a time when beef farmers around the country have rallied against low beef prices.

However, in a statement Cullinan said he is “calling out” his contestant for suggesting that he has “done a good job” and “been an effective leader” for livestock farmers.

In the statement, the current national treasurer of the organisation said:

“Angus Woods is living in his own bubble if he thinks he has delivered for livestock farmers over the past two years.”