LAST week’s IFA presidential nominations certainly surprised many farming observers when outgoing deputy president Tim O’Leary from Carrigrohane, Cork, failed to secure the backing of six county executives before the deadline passed on Wednesday evening.
It had been expected that Mr O’Leary was a front-runner in the campaign as he was acting president when Eddie Downey stepped down as president late last year. He along with whistleblower Derek Deane only secured five votes each out of a possible six.
As it stands now there are three candidates contesting the presidential election, which will be held in April. The successful candidates are Henry Burns from Laois, Joe Healy from Galway and Flor McCarthy from Kerry.
Speaking to The Southern Star, Tim O’Leary said that obviously he was disappointed that he didn’t secure the required number of nominations.
‘That’s democracy for you,’ said Tim.
‘I haven’t made up my mind yet if I will contest for the other positions and I need to consult with others first. What’s good is that the IFA needs a new president and we’re in the process of the selection process.’
Tim also thinks that ordinary IFA members are beginning to move on from the pay scandals that plagues the organisation at the end of last year and sees ‘that there’s hope now at the end of the line.’
Richard Connell, West Cork IFA chairman, said now that the nominations for president are in, they are awaiting the other nominations for the other positions on the board. Nominations are now being sought for the positions of IFA deputy president and the four regional chairmen – of Munster, South Leinster , Ulster-North Leinster and Connacht – as decided at last week’s Executive Council meeting.
The nominations are subject to the Council adopting a rule change on February 2nd to allow these elections go ahead. Completed nomination and acceptance forms are attached and must be received no later than 5.30pm on Wednesday, February 3rd, at the Irish Farm Centre, Dublin 12, addressed to the National Returning Officer. Nominations will be accepted by hand, post, email (with scan attached) or fax.