John Keane, a dairy and beef farmer from north Tipperary has been elected as the 38th president of Macra na Feirme after seeing off competition from a fellow countyman Daniel Long.
Keane was elected by a comfortable margin of 105 votes to 12.
Keane first joined Macra in 2014 as a member of the Devil’s Bit club. He has held various positions throughout the organisation most recently treasurer of his club and chair of the board.
He was also a driving force behind Macra’s Make the Moove campaign which centred on tackling issues around rural mental health.
Keane will succeed Thomas Duffy as president and will serve in the position until 2023.
With all hustings held remotely, the campaign heated up in the days before the count when Long, a member of Rathkeevin club, raised issue with the selection of the election’s independent scrutineer.
John O’Donoghue, CEO of ifac, was appointed by Macra to oversee the election.
Long believed the independent scrutineer should be agreed upon by both candidates. He chose not to attend the election count in the Irish Farm Centre on 7 April as a result.
In a email, he said he reserved his right to appeal the result and asked Macra to store all ballots and documentation should he decide to exercise this right.
Macra’s three regional vice presidents (VPs) were also elected at Wednesday’s count.
In the Munster VP race Elaine Houlihan secured victory over Áine McCarthy, securing 40 out of a possible 62 votes.
Claire Gough will take up the position of Leinster VP while Luna Orofiamma will serve as northwest VP. Both were elected unopposed.
The president-elect and the three vice presidents will be formally appointed at Macra’s AGM on 15 May.