Three candidates will contest the IFA Presidential election following the close of nominations and declaration of candidates by IFA National Returning Officer Ruaidhri Deasy today (Wed). There are a total of 15 candidates for the top 6 IFA positions, which are directly elected by the Association’s 85,000 members, namely President, Deputy President and the four Regional Vice Presidents covering Munster, South Leinster, Ulster/North Leinster and Connacht.
The candidates for President are Kilkenny County Chairman John Bryan from Inistioge, Deputy President Derek Deane from Hacketstown, Co Carlow and National Dairy Chairman Richard Kennedy from Clarina, Co Limerick.
Each of the candidates has been nominated by their own County Executive and has received the support of five other County Chairmen.
The candidates will undertake a series of election debates around the country commencing next week and running right through November, giving all IFA members the opportunity to hear what each has to offer on the issues facing farmers. The opening election debate for counties Cavan and Monaghan takes place next Tuesday 27th of October in the Errigal Hotel, Cootehill, Co Cavan.
Branch voting at 947 centres will begin on Tuesday December 1st and continue until Wednesday December 16th and the National Count will be held in Dublin on Monday December 21st. A weighted branch voting system will operate to reflect the strength of turnout by branch members.
The new President will take over from Padraig Walshe at the 2010 IFA AGM in mid January.
John Bryan has the support of the County Chairmen from Wexford, Kerry, Mayo, Roscommon and Louth.
Derek Deane has the support of the County Chairmen from Sligo, Clare, West Cork, Cavan and Kildare.
Richard Kennedy has the support of the County Chairmen from South Tipperary, North Tipperary, Cork Central, North Cork and Monaghan.
In the race for Deputy President, Meath County Chairman Eddie Downey and Munster Vice President Sean O’Leary go head to head.
Eddie Downey has the support of the Laois, Louth, Cavan, Wexford and Mayo County Chairmen, while Sean O’Leary has been endorsed by the Cork Central, West Cork, Waterford, Clare and Limerick County Chairmen.
There are three candidates in the race for the position of Munster Vice President. West Cork’s Chris Hayes is supported by the North Cork and Limerick County Chairmen. Waterford County Chairman Michael Keane is endorsed by the North Tipperary and Cork Central Chairmen, while Kerry’s John Stack is supported by the Clare and South Tipperary Chairmen.
There are two candidates in South Leinster. Roads Project Team Chairman Jer Bergin of Laois is supported by the Kildare and Wexford Chairmen, while Offaly Chairman Aidan Larkin is endorsed by the Dublin and Wicklow Chairmen.
In Ulster/North Leinster, there are three candidates. Westmeath’s Paddy Donnelly has been endorsed by the Louth Chairman, Farm Family Chair Mary Sherry of Monaghan is supported by the Cavan Chairman and Longford’s John Waters has been endorsed by the Donegal Chairman.
The race for Connacht Vice President is a head to head between Galway’s Padraic Divilly supported by the Mayo Chairman and Roscommon Chairman Bernard Donohue supported by the Sligo Chairman.