Laois beef farmer pledges to stand up to ‘unfair’ criticism after election as IFA president

Francie Gorman defeated Co Limerick dairy farmer Martin Stapleton in vote

Francie Gorman, a beef farmer from Co Laois has been elected incoming president of the IFA.

Mr Gorman defeated Martin Stapleton, a dairy farmer from Oola, Co Limerick, by 16,699 votes to 13,210.

The results were announced on Tuesday evening in the Castleknock Hotel in Dublin, after a daylong counting of votes.

Mr Gorman is a suckler beef and sheep farmer from Ballinakill in Laois. He is the current South Leinster Regional chairman and a previous chair of Laois IFA.


A spokesman for the IFA said Mr Gorman had, during his campaign, stressed the importance of unity among farmers in facing the challenges ahead.

Mr Gorman has also pledged to stand up to unfair criticism of farming.

Among the challenges facing farmers over the next four years will be the environmental criticism and demands for lower stock levels to help restore and maintain water quality.

Mr Gorman will be the 17th president of the IFA and will take over from present incumbent Tim Cullinane in January. The term in office is four years.

The IFA spokesman said the number of farmers who voted in the election showed a significant increase. Some 22,800 farmers had voted in the last election for the IFA presidency in 2019. He ascribed the significant increase this year to a hybrid system of voting which combined postal votes alongside those cast at branch AGMs.

“We have received over 20,000 postal votes” he said.

Alice Doyle, from Co Wexford, was elected deputy president.

The total valid poll was 29,909, out of an electorate of more than 70,000.

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Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien is an Irish Times journalist