MEETINGS of IFA branches to elect a new president and deputy president will get under way throughout the country this week.
The first meetings in West Cork will take place this Tuesday, March 29th, when the branches of Skeagh, Bere Island and Skibbereen-Baltimore go to vote. These will be followed by Leap, Rossmore and Eyeries, who will cast their votes on Wednesday, March 30th.
The following branches will meet on Thursday 31st: Union Hall-Castlehaven, Terelton, Castletownbere, Rossmaceoin and Urhan. On Friday, April 1st, the members of Caheragh branch will meet to cast their votes. All the above meetings are scheduled to begin at 8.45pm.
The meeting for Sherkin and Cape Clear members will take place on Saturday, April 2nd at 11am in Casey’s Hotel, Baltimore. Only IFA members are allowed to attend and vote at these meetings and proxy voting will not be allowed due to a change in the rules for this election.
Meanwhile, the annual general meeting of West Cork IFA County Executive was held last week in the Parkway Hotel, Dunmanway. The guest speaker was the organisation’s National Livestock secretary, Kevin Kinsella, who gave a comprehensive presentation on all issues relating to the cattle and sheep sectors.
He listed the factors, both positive and negative, affecting both sectors and he outlined the IFA campaigns to help farmers involved in these enterprises. The meeting received reports from the chairpersons of the various commodity committees on their work during the year on behalf of West Cork farmers and their families.
Tributes were paid to the main officers of the executive who had completed their four year term of office – chairman, Richard Connell, vice-chairman Raymond Kingston, secretary Donal O’Donovan, treasurer Ger Lehane, PRO Seán Ó Lionaird and president Neilie O’Leary. Special thanks was expressed to Richard Connell for the leadership he gave during the recent upheaval at IFA headquarters.
The new officers elected are, as follows: chairman Corney Buckley of Caheragh, vice-chairman Donal O’Donovan of Dunmanway, secretary Micheál Looney of Macroom, treasurer Jerry O’Sullivan of Leap, PRO Gerard Burke of Durrus and president John Joe Kelleher of Terelton.
In his acceptance speech, new chairman Corney Buckley said that incomes were under pressure in almost all sectors of agriculture and he pledged to work to the best of his ability to improve the lot of all farmers during his term of office.