James O’Donnell has been elected president of the Irish Co-operative Organisation Society (ICOS) following a meeting of the board of the society.

He succeeds Jerry Long, who has retired having served as president for the past three years and as a dairy committee member of ICOS for 11 years.

O'Donnell has served as vice-president of ICOS for the past four years and has chaired the ICOS finance and governance committee, as well as the ICOS rural business committee.

A dairy farmer from Golden, Co Tipperary, and a member of Dairygold Co-operative, he serves as chair of South Tipperary Farm Relief Service Co-operative and represents the National Co-op Farm Relief Service on the ICOS board.


Edward Carr, chair of Arrabawn Co-operative, was elected vice-president of ICOS. Carr is a dairy farmer from Milestone, near Thurles, Co Tipperary, and is a member of the ICOS dairy committee.

ICOS president James O’Donnell said: “The Irish agri-food sector makes an immense contribution to our national economic competitiveness and success.

“It is underpinned by farmer-owned co-operatives whose members and leaders are committed to wholesome, naturally based food production, environmental protection and the long-term sustainability of our sector, all of which ensures economic viability for farm families and rural communities, national food security and our export-led contribution to global nutrition.

“Irish agriculture has the capability to produce the highest quality foods with one of the lowest carbon profiles of any other agricultural systems worldwide. This can and must be sustained through viable mechanisms for the future,” he said.