Video: 16th IFA president to be announced

The 16th president of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) will be announced tomorrow, Tuesday, December 17.

The IFA national count will take place at the Castleknock Hotel, Co. Dublin from 9:00am tomorrow morning, with a first count expected to emerge around mid-to-late afternoon.

Voting to find Joe Healy’s successor has been taking place at the IFA’s 944 branches from Monday, November 25, and drew to a close last Friday, November 13.

Before voting took place, a total of 17 debates were hosted across the country to give IFA members a chance to hear from the candidates and question their ideas for the future of the organisation.

The first debate took place in Limerick on Monday, October 21, and the final debate took place in Carlow on Thursday, November 21.

The video below gives a flavour of what the three IFA presidential candidates – John Coughlan, Tim Cullinan, and Angus Woods – had to say at the final presidential debate in Co. Carlow.

Unlike previous IFA elections, this one would appear too close to call.

However, sources across the country have expressed concern at voter turnout in Co. Cork and have told AgriLand this could well leave early election front runner John Coughlan – who has been described by some voters as ‘a safe pair of hands’ – under pressure.

L-R: IFA presidential candidate Tim Cullinan; Carlow IFA chairperson George Collier; IFA presidential candidate Angus Woods; and IFA presidential candidate John Coughlan

Meanwhile, Angus Woods and Tim Cullinan appear to be neck-and-neck as the race draws to a close.

IFA sources across the country have said that Cullinan’s “radical approach” struck a chord with many IFA voters nationwide while Angus Woods’ “realist approach” appears to have been welcomed by other voters.

The big challenge in the election (carried out in a proportional representation style) is that all three candidates want to avoid being bottom of the pile on the first count.

The candidate who receives the lowest number of first-preference votes following the first count will be eliminated and their ‘Number 2’ votes will then be transferred to the remaining two candidates.

The deputy

Two contestants ran in the IFA deputy election – Co. Cavan’s Thomas Cooney and Co. Kildare’s Brian Rushe.

Both candidates appeared to come across very well to the IFA members with Rushe being described as “a very polished speaker” and Cooney being referred to as “the most experienced candidate”.

Reports are suggesting that Cooney is securing strong support in the west and further down south of the country. However, sources have told AgriLand that Rushe is performing well in many areas also.

As there are only two candidates running in this race, the successful candidate will be elected on a first-past-the-post majority system.

Stay tuned to AgriLand for further updates on this story as the count progresses tomorrow.