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Dublin: 3 °C Thursday 27 February, 2020
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President-elect of Irish Farmers’ Association vows to tackle beef crisis

Tim Cullinan was this evening elected president of the IFA.

Tim Cullinan celebrating his win while being congratulated by his closest rival in the contest John Coughlan.
Tim Cullinan celebrating his win while being congratulated by his closest rival in the contest John Coughlan.
Image: Finbarr O'Rourke

A FARMER FROM Co Tipperary has been elected president of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA).

Tim Cullinan, who is currently the IFA’s treasurer, saw off competition from John Coughlan and Angus Woods to take the helm of Ireland’s largest farming representative organisation.

Cullinan, who has worked in pig, dairy, beef and tillage farming, will replace current president Joe Healy next month.

Almost 23,000 votes were cast by members from the IFA’s 944 branches across the country; Cullinane secured almost 11,500 votes.

Addressing a large gathering at the Castleknock Hotel in Dublin this evening, Cullinan said there are “unprecedented” challenges facing the farming industry today.

The president-elect said his initial priority 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,” Cullinan said. 

The IFA has been staging protests outside supermarkets’ distribution centres in recent weeks in an ongoing campaign for an increase in beef prices. Farmers also staged a tractor blockade in Dublin city earlier today

Cullinan this evening said that agriculture is “a mainstay of the Irish economy”.

“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,” he stated. 

Cullinan said his other priorities include developing a general election programme with the IFA’s demands; reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP); and environmental restrictions faced by farmers.

“I intend to represent all farmers, to do whatever is necessary to unify farmers as what we have seen of late is that the only winners when farmers are divided are the very ones we are fighting against,” Cullinan stated.

Agriculture Minister Michael Creed has congratulated Cullinan, saying he looks forward “to working constructively with the incoming IFA leadership to address the many challenges facing Irish farmers”.

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Órla Ryan

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