Six of the 16-person committee in Elphin Mart have resigned in recent weeks due to a number of issues which they are unhappy about.
The six people resigned at a mart committee meeting held last month.
The Irish Farmers Journal understands that the members who resigned have become disheartened with events at the mart over the last 18 months.
They said that they have attempted on numerous occasions to bring a sense of transparency, fairness and balance to the future direction of the mart but that their efforts have been treated with disdain and that they have been undermined on several occasions.
The group has issued a particular concern over the 2020 AGM of the Elphin Mart committee which was conducted via a Zoom online meeting.
The group said that some members of the committee attended in person while others were invited via a Zoom call.
The group also said they were dissatisfied with the direction that the mart was taking and that decisions taken by the mart committee were overruled by the executive.
Elphin Mart has proudly served the farmers of Roscommon and beyond since 1961
Speaking to the Irish Farmers Journal, the new chair of Elphin Mart, Bernard Donohoe, said: “Elphin Mart has proudly served the farmers of Roscommon and beyond since 1961. The opening sale this Friday night builds on the mart’s most successful year on record in 2021, with a turnover of €27.698m.
“On behalf of the board of Elphin Mart, I want to thank outgoing mart manager, Gerry Connellan, who retired earlier in 2020 for his outstanding work, commitment and drive over the past 26 years at the helm.
“The board also looks forward to working with newly appointed mart manager, Kevin Caslin, along with all staff, customers and shareholders, in ensuring that 2022 continues to build on the success of previous years, keeping Elphin as the go-to mart for livestock trading for its loyal customers, who continue to make the mart the success it is today.”
On the six members that resigned, Donohoe said: “I want to thank those committee members who have resigned from the board, for their invaluable contribution to the success of Elphin Mart to date.
“I am very disappointed that I had no contact from the board members and that I learned of their concerns through the media. I don’t have any issues if the board members put their concerns to me in writing. I will defend the fact that we held our AGM over Zoom similar to many other organisations during these difficult times dealing with a pandemic.
“Our solicitor was present and everything was done properly. Some board members were present at the meeting to provide IT backup support for the Zoom AGM. There were others present who do not have Zoom facilities.
“There is a process and rules and standards that the board have abided by at all times. I am 100% confident that the decisions that were taken are fully legal and in compliance with ICOS regulations.
“I would suggest that they come to me and have their concerns addressed, the shareholders are entitled to the facts as to what the board members concerns are. Their claims are completely false and misleading.
“I would totally and absolutely refute the claims that any decisions made by the committee were overruled by the executive.”
The Irish Farmers Journal understands that an AGM of the mart will take place within the next two months.
Donohoe said: “As far as the mart is concerned, it’s business as usual with the opening sale of Elphin Mart for 2022 taking place this coming Friday night, 7 January, at 7pm, where 105 top-quality springer heifers will be offered on behalf of MLaurence Doorly, Mullymux, Roscommon.
“All heifers are in calf to a five-star purebred Limousin bull and are export tested.”