General election 2016: the farmer votes
The count is well into its second day in general election 2016, as tallying continues in some of the 40 constituencies across the country.


Fine Gael, as it emerged late on Friday and early on Saturday, are losing seats heavily compared its outing in 2011. Labour has been decimated. Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin have made gains while the Independents are flying.

Éamon Ó Cuív, the Fianna Fáil agriculture spokesman, was the first big hitter from farming to be elected. He passed the quota shortly after 11am on Sunday. Then former ICMSA president Jackie Cahill won a seat in the ferociously competitive Tipperary constituency.

Outgoing Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney was then elected on Sunday afternoon, shortly after 2pm. Martin Ferris in Kerry is Sinn Féin's agriculture spokesman and retained his seat. Fine Gael's Andrew Doyle, chairman of the Oireachtas agriculture committee, was elected in Wicklow.

Junior ag minister Tom Hayes in Tipperary was the big casuality in farming circles when he lost his seat on Sunday.

A total of 150 TDs have been elected. There are 158 seats to be filled in total.

Current state of the parties - Fine Gael 49, Fíanna Fáil 43, Sinn Féin 22, Independents 16, Labour 6, AAA-PBP 5, Independent Alliance 4, Social Democrats 3, Green Party 2,

Monday moving day

There was further clarity of seat postions late into the night on Sunday and into Monday morning. As of 11am on Monday, there are just 10 seats to be filled.

Longford /Westmeath

After a full recount was called, there are still three seats to be filled here. Independent Kevin "Boxer" Moran has taken the second seat. Fine Gael is likely to get one of the remaining two, with Wille Penrose now slightly favoured to take the last seat, but it's a close call with him and Sinn Féin's Paul Hogan. Penrose, who served on the Oireachtas ag committee, had pretty much admitted defeat on Saturday. Lazarus who? There is a second recount under way on Tuesday afternoon which has been called by Fine Gael after Penrose jumped just two votes ahead Fine Gael's James Bannon on Monday night. Prediction FG 1, Labour 1.


As predicted on Sunday night, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael shared the last two seats there with Eamon Scanlon of FF and Tony McLoughlin of FG making it in shortly before midnight on Sunday.


As we predicted, Fine Gael pciked up the two remaining seats after the count was suspended on Sunday. The outgoing chief whip Paul Kehoe and farmer Michael D'Arcy both joined Brendan Howlin, James Browne and Mick Wallace in the Dáil.


The majoirty of seats to be filled are in the big Dublin constituencies of Dublin Bay North, Dublin South Central and Dublin Souh West. Not too many farmers there.

Predicted final outcome Fine Gael 50, Fianna Fáil 44, Sinn Féin 23, Independents 16, Labour 8, AAA/PBP 7, Independent Alliance 5, Social Democrats 3, Green Party 2.

Ferris in, Deenihan out

Sinn Fein's agriculture spokesman Martin Ferris haen elected in Kerry. Jimmy Deenihan has lost his seat, with his running mate Brendan Griffin and Fianna Fail's John Brassil joining Ferris and the Healy-Rae's in the Dáil.

Independents' Day

The extent to which Independents have dominated this election means the above headline, is , along with the revitalisation of Fianna Fail, the story of the election. In Tipperary, there are three Independent TD's, with Fianna Fail and Labour sharing the last two seats. Fine Gael has no seat. In Kerry, there are two Healy-Rae's safely elected, with thousands of votes to spare, with no-one else yet over the line afer nine counts. It's worth looking at the origin of the independents. The Healy-Rae's , like Mattie McGrath in Tipperary, are Fianna Fail gene pool, Michael Lowry is an ex-Fine Gael minister, of course. Seamus Healy is urban-based, with no link to either of the main parties.

Hayes defeated

Tom Hayes has lost his seat. Outgoing Minister of State in the Department of Agriculture Tom Hayes earlier acknowledged to the Irish Farmers Journal that he was on the brink of losing his seat. Hayes trailed Alan Kelly of Labour by over a thousand votes, with only Jackie Cahill's surplus of 2,000 votes to be distributed. The Tipperary constituency will thus return no Fine Gael TD, with Noel Coonan also losing out.

Cahill elected

Jackie Cahill has been elected in Tipperary. The former ICMSA President has taken a seat for Fianna Fáil, having benefited from a huge transfer from running mate Michael Smith. Cahill gained almost 5,000 votes, to comfortably elect him.


In Wexford, farmer Michael Darcy was elected on the 13th count of a marathon that ran into Saturday night. It seemed that Paul Kehoe would join him, gaining two seats for Fine Gael with only 23% of the vote. However, Kehoe, who has been tipped as a potential Minister of Agriculture should Fine Gael be part of the next government, must endure a full recount as Sinn Fein Johnny Mythen is only 50 votes behind him on the final count. That will take place on Monday, but will not affect Brendan Howlin, Mick Wallace, James Browne, or Darcy



Outgoing Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney has come through the "group of death" constituency of Cork south central along with Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin and the party’s finance spokesman Michael McGrath. Coveney took the third seat after the 11th count without reaching the quota.

Coveney has been looking at the bigger picture, though. Will he be taking over as leader of Fine Gael?



Another junior minor in the Department of Agriculture Anne Phelan was in a tight spot in Carlow Kilkenny. Fianna Fáil had amazingly been on track to get three seats but in a rare defeat for FF on counting day, the party got two seats instread of three. Shortly before midnight on Saturday John McGuinness and Bobby Alyward took the two FF seats there. John Paul Phelan and Pat Deering won seats for Fine Gael and Kathleen Funchion took a seat for Sinn Féin completing the five seats. Lots of excitement there. Deering looked out of it for most of the day.

Ó Cuív


Fianna Fáil agriculture spokesman Éamon Ó Cuív, as expected, has taken the first seat in Galway west. The only unexpected thing is that the count took nine counts to get him across the line.

Ó Cuív, who removes the Ó from the ballot paper to be nearer the top, has been speaking to RTÉ news.



Heather Humphreys, the minister responsible for the proposed extension of the burning and hedgecutting dates which the Irish Farmers Journal exclusively revealed in December, is set to top the poll in Cavan Monaghan. Humphreys, sister of IFA Ulster / north Leinster chairman Bert Stewart, had been rumoured to be in contention for the agriculture minister in the next Dáil. That was, of course, before the Fine Gael implosion. Heather has been elected and she got in on the first count.



Fine Gael's Andrew Doyle in Wicklow held the position of chairman of the Joint Oireachtas agriculture committee and won back his seat in Wicklow. He had been in a battle with former party colleague and Renua defector Billy Timmins but came home safely in the end.



Former agriculture minister Brendan Smith of Fianna Fáil in Cavan Monaghan retained his seat in Cavan. He was safe from early on.



Sinn Féin's agriculture spokesman Martin Ferris got in under the radar in Kerry. Brothers Michael and Danny Healy-Rae stole the show and set the carnival mood sway in Kerry. Ferris comfortably came home.



Martin Heydon is a farmer from Co Kildare and he is also chairman of Fine Gael's internal agriculture committee. More importantly, perhaps, is that he has been elected at approximately 7.30pm on Saturday for south Kildare. It has since tanspired that Heydon has topped the poll there. Good performance for a TD with cabinet ambition.



Co Galway farmer and Roscommon Galway candidate is expected to be elected on Saturday evening after Denis Naughten topped the poll there and was elected on the first count. Fitzmaurice is an outgong Independent TD and friend of MEP Luke "Ming" Flanagan. After six counts, Fitzmaurice was finally elected. Fitzmaurice took the seat from Flanagan in the 2014 by-election.



Former ICMSA president Jackie Cahill has taken the third seat in the Tipperary constituency. Cahill was elected on the sixth count after taking almost 5,000 transfers from FF coleague Michael Smith.


Kevin O'Keeffe running in Cork east is a dairy farmer and son of former Fianna Fáil TD Ned O'Keeffe. O'Keeffe was elected on the ninth count as was constituency colleague Sean Sherlock of Labour. Noel Coonan has been eliminated. Michael McNamara in Clare has lost his seat. Former dairy farmer and FG TD Michael Creed won back his seat in Cork north west. Green Party leader Eamon Ryan has been elected too.

There have be no political clichés used in this report yet so... it’s too close to call, all these figures come with a health warning, we’ll be here well into the night and transfers will be critical.

Sunday updates

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Full coverage: General election 2016

Farmer vote for Fine Gael holding firm

Watch: new Agri Aware campaign to air in cinemas and on TV
The ‘Many Hats, One CAP’ advert is set to air on television and in cinemas in the coming weeks, with the campaign highlighting how important investment in agriculture is to the wider Irish economy.

This week, Agri Aware launched its new 'Many Hats, One CAP' TV and cinema advert.

Produced by Traction Marketing, the advert is part of a wider campaign which aims to promote and showcase how the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) affects everyday life in Ireland, whether that is subsidies paid to a farmer directly or the countless indirect knock-ons that keep rural Ireland alive.

The launch took place at Movies Dundrum, Dublin, on Thursday evening, where both the full and short versions of the advert where premiered for the first time on screen.

Rural landscape

The ad itself follows a day in the life of a number of characters who make up the rural landscape in Ireland.

From clips of rural entrepreneur and chef Edward Hayden cooking up a storm in his Graiguenamanagh cookery school, to farmer Kevin Moran up before dawn in Galway to milk his dairy herd, it gives viewers a glimpse into the role the agri-food industry plays.

Agriculture is a huge economic multiplier, which keeps rural Ireland alive

At the premiere, there was a panel of guest speakers which included Agri Aware chair Alan Jagoe and three of the stars in the ad; Hayden, Moran and Teagasc researcher Dr Dayle Johnston.

Hosted by Marty Morrissey, the panel reiterated the point that agriculture is a huge economic multiplier, which keeps rural Ireland alive, and the CAP is central to that.

Alan Jagoe spoke of the huge work, time and spend going behind the campaign.

“It costs money to put it out there, but consumers and society need to know where their money is going and who they are supporting.

"There needs to be an understanding and respect for the production costs and efforts that go into food production,” he stressed.

2016 FBD young farmer of the year Kevin Moran made the point that CAP itself “is not just one thing – a subsidy for a farmer - it is much more than that; it’s an investment in food security, an investment in rural economies and this investment is invaluable to rural Ireland”.

'Many Hats, One CAP' is a 12-month public information campaign that will go live across TV, radio, cinema, social media and print over the coming weeks.

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Agri Aware, the CAP and Micheál

'Farmers must tell their story' – new Agri Aware chair

Farmers to lodge appeals over Castleblayney Mart next week
Around 40 of an estimated 100 farmers owed money by a collapsed Co Monaghan auctioneering firm have decided to pursue legal action against the Property Services Regulatory Authority.

Farmers left unpaid by the liquidation of EP Nugent Ltd, the company operating Castleblayney Mart, have decided to launch legal action against the Property Services Regulatory Authority (PSRA).

At a meeting on Thursday, attendees heard that one case against the PSRA failed, but won when it went to appeal.


Solicitor Paul McCormack told the Irish Farmers Journal that they have agreed to put “in a claim under the property services regulation Act 2011".

"Section 78 part three allows us to bring a claim. One case went forward to the Property Services Regulation Authority and was refused but went through to the property services appeal board and won.”

He says that the basis for the claim is that EP Nugent Ltd was trading “dishonestly” by not having a license.

“There’s 40 individual cases,” McCormack said, adding that the average claim is approximately €1,000.

“Nugent would like to see the farmers paid. There’s no guarantee it will happen. Claims had to be lodged within 12 months of the people finding out there was a problem. The liquidation was 9 April 2018 so we are up tight against the wire.”

McCormack advised that anyone who wants to make a claim should get in touch with his office at Thomas Street, Castleblayney, Co Monaghan, or the IFA.

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Chlorothalonil ban ‘a hammer blow’ to tillage farmers
The Irish Grain Growers Group has come out against the discontinuation of chlorothalonil.

The discontinuation of chlorothalonil is a hammer blow to Irish tillage farmers, Irish Grain Growers Group chair Bobby Miller has said.

On Friday, the European Commission voted to ban chlorothalonil, a key ingredient in Bravo, which is used by tillage farmers to fight septoria and ramularia.

Cost-efficient product

“The one good thing about Bravo is that it is a cost-efficient product. There will be alternatives available in the future, but will be they be as cost-effective for the farmer and will they be as effective as Bravo,” Miller told the Irish Farmers Journal.

We have to stand back and allow imports of grains from all over the world

He also said that any alternative products will have to be tested in the Irish climate as well.

Miller also hit out at the importation of grain from around the world into Ireland.

“Yet we have to stand back and allow imports of grains from all over the world, with different standards applied, arrive into the country to be fed to livestock.

“We, as tillage farmers, are being made fools of by the EU talking out of both sides of their mouth.

"The Irish grain quality assurance system is a joke when our Irish grain can be mixed with any sort of grain and waste in merchants' and millers' processing plants,” he said.

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Chlorothalonil to be discontinued

Loss of CTL could result in 10% yield loss in barley - BASF conference