There was a full house at the Hotel Kilmore on Thursday night as the three IFA presidential hopefuls went head-to-head in the Cavan leg of their national debates.
Joe Healy pointed to his experience to say that he would have the ability to deliver on his promises of creating a vibrant branch structure and county executive with a direct input into the national commodity committees which would be “at the heart of IFA” policy, and deliver on transparency in IFA governance.
“I am the only one of the candidates to have led a national organisation,” he said before listing his experience as president of Macra and other prominent positions, “...has given me experience of dealing with staff, media, politicians, farmers, members, departments and agencies. This broad range of experience is vital for the next president of the IFA.”
“I can assure you,” said Flor McCarthy in closing. “If you make me the next president of the IFA I’ll drive milk price, beef price. We will not be price takers, we will go after the multiples, we will go after the factories, that is where the IFA has fallen down over the last five or six years - we haven’t gone after them, we’ve stood off them.”
“I’ve never shied away,” said Henry Burns in his closing ‘minute’ speech which breached the two minute mark. “I have represented farmers on injustices, low income with tenacity and a never say die attitude, regardless of what the other side says. I don’t back off. I can also do the tricky negotiations when we have to, but I know how to raise the temperature to where we get something.”