IFA president-elect Tim Cullinan has said his election was a strong mandate from members to sharpen up the organisation to deal with the many serious challenges facing farmers.
The Tipperary farmer said that the four years of his presidency are among the most critical ever faced by farmers and that there’s an obligation on all to work together to turn the situation around.
Addressing a large gathering at the Castleknock Hotel in Dublin at the end of a cliff-hanger election count, Mr Cullinan said that there was never a greater need for farmers to pull together and face down the unprecedented challenges facing the industry today.
‘From the outset, I offered myself as a candidate for change and farmers have responded. I want to assure all who voted for me and those who voted for the other candidates that IFA will be fiercely on your side with only one objective, to deliver results for farmers.
‘Agriculture is a mainstay of the Irish economy and one with a celebrated international reputation. Our IFA members and all other farmers across the country are the ones who are responsible for this.
‘Making sure they get their fair share of income, irrespective of what that takes, will be the focus of my presidency. That will mean, as my campaign slogan ran: putting the fight back into farming.’
Mr Cullinan said that the priority for the first month of his presidency will be to address the beef crisis. ‘This issue is by no means done. This crisis is going on for a year and a half and factories have to realise if they want a beef industry in Ireland, they will have to pay for it.’
Other priorities, he said, would be developing a general election programme with the IFA’s demands, CAP reform, the CAP budget and environmental restrictions. Mr Cullinan thanked his own campaign team and all who voted for him.