Galway’s Pat Murphy launched his bid to become the next deputy president of the Irish Farmers Association (IFA) in Bradley’s Bar in Labane, Co Galway, on Friday night.

Murphy said the reason he is running for election is to ensure that each farm family across the country has a voice, “has the voice of a person that understands what they are going through”.

Because if they don’t, he said that “the different challenges that’s out there will be glossed over whether it’s pigs, poultry, tillage, all these areas that are outside our area, that I hope to be representative of”.

“One common thing in all of that, is that it’s families that are running those businesses. It is families and farm families that need an IFA to be stronger than it ever was, to stand up for them, to fight,” the dairy, beef and tillage farmer from Ardrahan said.


He said farmers are taking action on climate change, spreading protected urea, using low emissions slurry spreading equipment and reseeding, but they aren’t getting the credit for that action.

He added that farmers must retain ownership of carbon credits into the future and that that the IFA must ensure “that we’re not hoodwinked” by Government.

Not one of us want to see that environment harmed in any way, shape or form

“I’m putting it out there that the next CAP has to have food and food security at it’s heart. The Common Agricultural Policy was brought in after the second world war to ensure that there was safe food and availability of food for the people of Europe. Over the last number of years, we’ve seen that money go towards environmental aspects.

“Now, none of us here are climate deniers. Each one of us here live in the countryside, live in the environment; not one of us want to see that environment harmed in any way, shape or form,” he said, adding that he wants to stand up against the narrative that farmers are destroying the environment.

County chair

Murphy said he became Galway county chair in 2014 and that the association “had tough times”.

“We all know what happened in 2015 and the difficulties we faced, but I’m glad I was part of steering [the] IFA through those difficult times and to make it better, to keep it in place and keep it relevant,” he said.

Murphy said that the leadership of the IFA “needs to have the ability to listen, to really listen to what’s going on with the people on the ground” and vowed to bring that to the top table of the IFA if elected.

Those in attendance on the night included former IFA presidents John Donnelly and Joe Healy, chair of the IFA farm business committee Rose Mary McDonagh, Galway county chair Stephen Canavan, Mayo county chair Jarlath Walsh, Galway farm family chair Teresa Roche, IFA livestock chair and Connacht regional chair candidate Brendan Golden and Connacht regional chair candidate James Gallagher.

Former Connacht regional chair Padraic Joyce, current Ulster/north Leinster chair Frank Brady and Cavan IFA’s Thomas Cooney also attended. Martin Stapleton, one of the two candidates for IFA president, was also there on the night.