Cork farmer launches campaign to be elected deputy president of IFA

A 41-YEAR-OLD Co Cork farmer has launched his campaign for election as deputy president of the Irish Farmers Association.

Sean O’Leary, current IFA Munster vice-president and leader of its national climate change project team, is a dairy and beef farmer.

The former chairman of North Cork County IFA said, at this time of severe economic pressure, it was increasingly important that farmers have a clear mind, strong voice and a hard worker to represent them at national level.

“Agriculture will be a major driver in Ireland’s re-emergence from the present recession. This must be reflected in future Government decisions. Irish farming is a national asset and we have invested too much to give it up now.

“A guaranteed margin, lower input costs and workable governance for Irish farmers will allow us to resume farming profitability,” he said.

Mr O’Leary lives in Mourneabbey with his wife Fidelma and children, Daniel, Orla and Valerie. He milks 80 cows with all calves reared to beef and grows tillage for his own use.

A keen sportsman who has been involved as a player, selector and administrator with Clyda Rovers GAA, he said his priorities are based in returning farming to the farmer and empowering rural communities.

On the issue of over-regulation, he said a cost-effective farmer-orientated inspection regime was needed.

“Recent weather conditions have demonstrated the lunacy of calendar farming. A reworking of regulations that ban winter ploughing and dictate unrealistic fertiliser and slurry spreading dates is essential.”

Over 300 people attended the launch, in Mallow GAA complex, of his campaign which is being managed by Richard Quirke. They included former IFA presidents Donal Cashman and John Dillon.

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