IFA presidential election field begins to take shape
Election fever is building in the IFA with several candidates for the presidency and other senior roles expected to confirm their intentions soon.
Munster regional chairman and Cork dairy farmer John Coughlan has confirmed to the Farming Independent that he will be declaring his intention to contest an election within two weeks.
“I am not saying what I will be running for, but I will be seeking a nomination, and I will be making an announcement within two weeks,” he said.
His decision could have an influence on the future for outgoing deputy president, Richard Kennedy, who is known to have an interest in the top job.
IFA national treasurer and returning officer, Tim Cullinan (Tipperary North), is another strong candidate for the leadership with a formal announcement likely sooner than later.
“I will be making a decision in the near future, but I’m currently more concerned with trying to resolve the crisis for livestock producers and are in need of support,” he said.
It is also understood that livestock chairman, Angus Woods (Wicklow), is gauging his possible support, while rural development chairman, Joe Brady (Cavan), confirmed that he is “seriously considering” running. Farm business chairman, Martin Stapleton (Limerick), is another potential candidate for the presidency as is former national treasurer Jer Bergin.
Possible contenders for the role of deputy presidency include Thomas Cooney (Cavan), environment and rural affairs chairman; Padraig Joyce (Mayo) Connacht regional chairman; and Kildare county chairman, Brian Rushe.
But, the first hurdle for the contenders is the scramble for county nominations.
Each candidate requires the nod from their own county and five others to get their name on the ballot paper, which limits the line-up to four candidates emerging from the 27 executive councils for each of the positions.