2.05am: thanks for tuning in

That's all from us here tonight, thanks very much for tuning in to our blog of the count.

See this week's Irish Farmers Journal for a full breakdown of how your branch voted in the elections, along with interviews with the new president and deputy president.

1.55am: Rushe elected deputy president

Brian Rushe has been elected deputy president of the IFA, seeing off Thomas Cooney after a full recount. Rushe was elected with 11,379 votes to Cooney's 11,345.

He said the first six months of the next term of elected representatives in the IFA will define the next four years.

1.25am: Munster regional chair announced

Harold Kingston is elected the new regional chair for Munster after a recount. His total tally is 1,985 votes to Pat O'Driscoll's 1,919.

1.00am: result of the recount of first count for Munster

Not much of a change here in the recount for Munster after a full recount. Kingston still in the lead. Hanrahan's votes are now being distributed.

12.22am: drama in deputy presidential count

Bryan Barry has told the waiting crowd that the counters will need to verify that query envelopes were opened and checked as part of the recount.

A visibly cross Thomas Cooney questions discrepancy between signatures and votes in a ballot, asking why the query envelopes were not checked before now. There is confusion all around, as well as audible sighs. Meanwhile, the Munster recount finally begins.

10.59pm: recount of Munster election

The recount is continuing in the deputy race. In the Munster election, returning officer Richard Kennedy told the Irish Farmers Journal that the Kerry candidate Pat O'Driscoll requested a recount of the votes after Willie Hanrahan's votes were redistributed.

The second count ended with Cork's Harold Kingston on 1,982 votes and O'Driscoll on 1,925 votes, leaving a difference of 57 votes.

9.49pm: deputy presidential recount begins

All branch votes are to be recounted, including query votes checked.

Bryan Barry issues counting instructions to counting volunteers: "A clear, confirmed result" is what is required.

Recheck of results sheets were "100%" when compared with computer-inputted data earlier.

8.28pm: Cullinan lists priorities in acceptance speech

Tim Cullinan highlighted beef prices, farmer unity, CAP budget and environmental pressures – plus change to the IFA itself – as his priorities for his term as the next IFA president.

Watch his full acceptance speech here:

8.25pm: Munster election result

The first count of the Munster regional election has been completed. Cork's Harold Kingston is out in front with 1,429 votes, followed by Kerry's Pat O'Driscoll with 1,303 votes. Clare's Willie Hanrahan received 1,243 votes and has been eliminated. His votes will now be redistributed.

8.15pm: Minister Creed congratulates Cullinan

Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed congratulated Tim Cullinan on his election as president of the IFA.

“Congratualtions to the president-elect and his team on a successful campaign. I look forward to working constructively with the incoming IFA leadership to address the many challenges facing Irish farmers.

“I would also like to pay tribute to John Coughlan and Angus Woods for their efforts in such a close contest.’’

8pm: first interview with new IFA president

Tim Cullinan spoke to Pat O’Toole about his priorities as the 16th IFA president.

Watch the interview here:

7.57pm: Cullinan campaign manager ‘ecstatic’

Imelda Walsh, Tim Cullinan’s campaign manager, has told the Irish Farmers Journal that she is ecstatic with the win.

“I’m over the moon after six months of hard, gruelling work. I’m absolutely delighted that the next president of the IFA is a north Tipperary man.”

She said it is the “greatest achievement” of her life.

7.44pm: beef price top of the agenda for Cullinan

7.24pm: new IFA president revealed

Tipperary man Tim Cullinan has been voted in as the 16th president of the IFA after the tightest race in a generation.

The current IFA treasurer and former North Tipperary IFA and pig committee chair gathered 11,497 votes , beating Corkman John Coughlan, who gathered 9,937 votes.

Cullinan led a memorable battle against the Department of Agriculture over farm inspections which resulted in changes to the inspection regime. In recent months he lent his support to farmers protesting at factory gates during a tumultuous time for beef farmers.

7.00pm: presidential result imminent

Bryan Barry has announced that a result in the presidential debate will be known soon. Final rechecks under way now.

6.10pm: Munster regional chair count begins

Counting is finally under way for the Munster regional chair election.

In the running are Harold Kingston (Cork), Willie Hanrahan (Clare) and Pat O'Driscoll (Kerry).

The story so far ...

It's been a busy day in Castleknock. Here's a recap of the day's events:

5.42pm: deputy president announcement

  • Cooney: 11,338 votes.
  • Rushe: 11,374 votes.
  • There was a margin of 36 votes in the deputy presidential race.

  • Valid poll: 22,712.
  • Spoiled: 260.
  • Cooney is seeking a recount. Arrangements will be made shortly.

    5.37pm: deputy president to be announced

    The IFA deputy president candidates Thomas Cooney and Brian Rushe have been called into a room. Result expected soon.

    5.10pm: Woods gracious in defeat

    Angus Woods, eliminated in the first count, is gracious in defeat, posing for photos with his family.

    He says the size of his home county, at 572 total votes, compared to over 3,000 per county for the other candidates, was a factor.

    4.59pm: first count result

    The first count result is in:

  • Coughlan - 7,402 votes.
  • Culinan - 8,334 votes.
  • Woods - 7,149.
  • Angus Woods is eliminated after the first round.

  • Valid poll: 22,885.
  • Quota: 11,443.
  • Spoiled votes: 113.
  • Total poll: 22,998.
  • No candidate reaches quota, so the number twos from Angus Woods' votes will now be counted.

    4.51pm: still waiting for first count result for president

    It is almost 5pm and we are still waiting for the first count of the IFA president and deputy president races. The latest voting has been taken off the screens here.

    4.24pm: new Connacht regional chair elected

    Pat Murphy, a suckler and dairy farmer from Ardrahan in Galway, has been elected Connacht IFA chair. He won by 991 votes to John Hanley's 815.

    3.55pm: Woods trails Cullinan and Coughlan

    As the first count nears completion, Pat O’Toole gives an update on the latest voting. Watch here:

    3.50pm: Cullinan remains in the lead

    With 95% of votes now counted, Tim Cullinan is still in the lead with a clear gap opening up ahead of Coughlan and Woods.

    Cullinan 7,848 votes, Coughlan 7,207 votes and Woods 6,885 votes.

    The first count looks set to be announced soon.

    Members of Tim Cullinan's team keeping a close eye on things at Castleknock Hotel. \ Philip Doyle

    3.34pm: Cullinan leading the way

    Tim Cullinan is leading the way in the presidential election, holding 36% of the votes at 7,374.

    John Coughlan is at 33%, with 6,768 and AngusWoods is on 30%, with 6,162.

    Some 88% of branch votes have been counted now, totalling over 20,300 ballots.

    3.02pm: still too close to call

    The presidential race remains too close to call, even after 80% of votes have been counted. Tim Cullinan is in the lead again with 35% of votes. John Coughlan holds 33% of votes and Angus Woods is on 32%.

    2.39pm: Cullinan takes Roscommon

    Tim Cullinan has taken Roscommon, while Angus Woods topped the polls in taken Mayo, Sligo, Leitrim, Westmeath, Meath Wicklow and Laois. John Coughlan topped Waterford.

    Some 74% of branch votes have been counted thus far.

    It remains a very close race.

    2.30pm: Talk turns to a recount

    With the voting so tight, talk in the room has turned to the likelihood of a recount.

    Whoever the third-placed candidate is going to be, it’s highly likely they will want to have their votes tally checked.

    2.24pm: Connacht regional chair counting begins

    All votes for the position of president and deputy president have been counted in the Connacht counties. The Connacht regional chair count begins now between John Hanley of Roscommon and Pat Murphy of Galway.

    IFA election 2019. \ Philip Doyle

    1.44pm: Who’s running for regional chair positions?

    There are two men in the race to become Connacht IFA chair; John Hanley from the Creggs branch in Roscommon and Pat Murphy from the Ardrahan branch in Galway.

    Both are former chairs of their respective counties.

    In Munster there are three candidates vying for the role of regional chair.

    Willie Hanrahan from the Doonbeg branch is the current Clare IFA chair, Harold Kingston from the Barryroe branch is the current Cork central chair and Pat O’Driscoll from the Valentia branch is the current Kerry IFA chair.

    The south Leinster chair Tom Short was returned unopposed for a second two-year term as was Ulster/north Leinster chair Nigel Renaghan.

    The counting in regional chair races is expected to take place once counters return from their break before 2pm.

    1.31pm: counting suspended

    Counting has been suspended for a short break. It is due to get back under way at around 1.45pm.

    At this stage, it’s anyone’s game – all three candidates hold 33% of the vote. Some 521 branches have been counted from a total of 944.

    Here is where things stand:

  • John Coughlan – 4,027
  • Tim Cullinan – 4,009
  • Angus Woods – 4,002
  • 1.28pm: Coughlan takes the Déise

    John Coughlan has claimed Waterford, and currently leads with a total vote of 4,015.

    Tim Cullinan is nipping at his heels on 4,000 and Angus Woods is just behind on 3,951.

    Woods has taken Sligo, Dublin and his home county of Wicklow.

    1.15pm: half way point

    A total of 11,408 votes have now been counted, these account for 52% of branch votes.

    John Coughlan holds 34% of the vote with 3,881, Tim Cullinan has 33% (3,727), with Angus Woods also on 33% (3,800).

    Votes have now been fully counted for three counties (Wicklow, Dublin and Sligo), with Angus Woods receiving the majority of votes in all three.

    1.10pm: ‘Neck and neck’

    Pat O’Toole takes stock of how the presidential and deputy presidential races are going, and how influential first preferences are going to be.

    12.50pm: deputy race deep dive

    The two candidates running for deputy president are Thomas Cooney from the Laragh branch in Cavan and Brian Rushe from the Carbury/Cadamstown branch in Kildare.

    Cooney is the outgoing chair of the IFA’s environment committee, while Rushe is the current county chair of Kildare/west Wicklow.

    Cooney was nominated by the Cavan executive and Gavin White (Longford), Erica O’Keeffe (Tipperary South), John Curran (Meath), Brendan McLaughlin (Donegal) and Frank Brady (Monaghan).

    Rushe was nominated by the Kildare executive and Gerard Melia (Louth), Jim O’Connor (Roscommon), Richard Scally (Offaly), Anne Baker (Cork North) and Shay Galvin (Limerick).

    Both candidates are dairy farmers.

    12.23pm: Sligo votes for Woods

    All 308 votes have now been counted in Sligo, with the majority of votes in the county going to Woods.

  • Woods – 181
  • Cullinan – 92
  • Coughlan – 35
  • 12.17pm: almost at 40% of branch votes counted

    Some 38% of branch votes have now been counted. s things stand Tim Cullinan is in the lead with 3,054 votes. He is followed by John Coughlan with 2,924 votes and Angus Woods on 2,448.

    Some 355 branches out of 944 have had their votes counted.

    12.10pm: Turnout set to top 22,000

    With counting completed for 277 of the 944 IFA, there are 6,630 votes counted. Estimates suggest a total turnout of between 22,000 and 23,000.

    11.40am: Woods back in the lead

    \ Philip Doyle

    It’s close. Angus Woods is back in the lead here again, with 23% of branch votes counted.

    11.36am: Cullinan going strongly in Tipperary

    In south Tipperary, Tim Cullinan has taken 110 of the 181 votes counted so far.

    11.05am: Cullinan now in the lead

    Tim Cullinan has jumped into the lead position. Some 17% of votes have been counted so far, with Cullinan now on 1,302 votes.

    He is followed by John Coughlan on 1,227 and Angus Woods on 1,182.

    It is very close in the deputy race, with Thomas Cooney on 1,869 and Brian Rushe on a 1,872.

    \ Philip Doyle

    11.00am: Coughlan now in the lead

    With 16% of votes counted, John Coughlan has taken the lead with 1,196 votes. Angus Woods is on 1,159 and Tim Cullinan is on 1,111.

    10.50am: over 10% of votes now counted

    Some 11% of votes have now been counted. Angus Woods is currently in the lead, with 844 votes, followed by Tim Cullinan on 832 and John Coughlan on 767.

    In the deputy race, 11% of votes have also been counted. Thomas Cooney is on 1,237 votes and Brian Rushe is on 1,008.

    10.25am: Woods leads the way

    With ballots from eight counties – Carlow, Kildare, Dublin, Leitrim, Longford, Louth, Monaghan and Offaly – still to be opened, Angus Woods is leading, from Tim Cullinan, John Coughlan in third. Woods has 40% of the vote so far, with Cullinan on 31% and Coughlan on 28%.

    \ Philip Doyle

    10.15am: meet the candidates

    Here are the three candidates in the running to be the next IFA president: John Coughlan, Tim Cullinan and Angus Woods.

    10.04am: 1% of votes counted

    With 1% of the votes counted, Angus Woods leads the way on 109, Tim Cullinan has 87 and John Coughlan has 80.

    In the deputy president race, Thomas Cooney has 334 votes, with Brian Rushe on 323.

    9.50am: how does counting work?

    Irish Farmers Journal news correspondent Pat O’Toole explains how the count works:

    9.40am: counting under way

    Counting is under way this morning, with IFA national returning officer and current IFA deputy president Richard Kennedy welcoming all the candidates.

    He says it is a "big day for the association", one that only rolls round every four years.

    9.35am: IFA election count 2019

    Good morning and welcome to the Irish Farmers Journal's live blog of the IFA election 2019 count. We are here in the Castleknock Hotel in Dublin this morning for the count which will see the 16th president of the IFA elected.

    Read more

    Long read: IFA candidates on milk prices, new entrants and stainless steel

    Watch: next IFA president to be elected today