Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) sheep chair Kevin Comiskey is to vacate his role in a bid to become a local councillor for Fine Gael.

The Leitrim farmer said he has always had a “love of politics” since he was a young child and that he has been encouraged to seek the Fine Gael nomination for the Manorhamilton municipal district.

The selection convention for Fine Gael will be held on 28 November and if Comiskey gets the nomination, he will vacate his IFA role. If he does not receive the nomination, he hopes to continue in his post with the association.

The farmer was first elected sheep committee chair in January 2022 and had been vice chair for the four years prior to that. All in, he has spent seven years on the IFA’s committee to represent the interest of sheep farmers.

Vacate role

Comiskey was also elected vice chair of the sheep group under Copa Cogeca, the European farmers' group, this summer. He will also vacate this role if he receives the Fine Gael nomination.

“I was approached by Fine Gael that there was possibly a vacancy in the Manorhamilton municipal district,” the farmer explained.

The IFA sheep chair said he thought it was appropriate to inform the sheep committee - and his local IFA colleagues - of his intentions.

“The background is that I have always had an interest in politics. Growing up as a child, my next-door neighbour was a TD.

“I like history and I’d be involved in researching history and that. Michael Collins would be a big idol of mine,” he said.

Farming issues

Comiskey said that his experience with the IFA, lobbying for farmers and rural Ireland, would be of benefit to him in a councillor position.