Well-known Mitchelstown pig farmer, Pat O’Keeffe, has been elected chair of North Cork IFA.

But did postal gremlins and COVID-19 feature in the election?

O’Keeffe defeated John Magner, who is the county’s forestry chair, by 33 votes to 30 following a very tight election.

However, just 63 votes out of a possible 78 ended up being included in the final ballot. This was due to a mix of postal and affiliation problems.

The election was restricted to branch delegates, with the ballot being a postal vote because of COVID-19 restrictions.

However, the Ballyhooly and Glanworth branches were deemed ineligible to vote as they had not held AGMs and were therefore not affiliated.

Since these branches have large memberships, this ruled out eight possible votes.

A number of other votes were lost due to postal delays, including John Magner’s Castletownroche branch.

Postal deliveries

An Post has blamed COVID-19 for recent delays in postal deliveries, with a high number of staff off sick.

The North Cork campaign was a tetchy affair, The Dealer understands. It dredged up some old divisions from the IFA presidential election, when O’Keeffe was accused of supporting Tim Cullinan over local candidate John Coughlan.

O’Keeffe takes over as chair from Anne Baker, who has completed her term in the position.

Baker will take on the role of North Cork PRO. Liam Doherty was elected vice chair.