In his first interview as the new president, Joe Healy tells the Irish Farmers Journal that the organisation needs to ensure co-ops, processors and factories give a reasonable and fair return to farmers. He also says IFA need to highlight the consequences for Irish farmers if a Brexit happens.

"We have to fight for favourable treatment in relation to our historical link with Britain."

In relation to Mercosur, he says that agriculture can't be seen as "sacrificial in any of these deals."

In relation to the beef income crisis, Healy says he was critical of the IFA in the past for beef prices.

"The processors constantly appear on the rich list and the farmers are not getting a fair share. All they want is a margin. We have a top quality product, fit to put on any shelf, in any part of world."

Healy says he has sat down with farmers from all sectors to listen to their issues.

"They're the experts - nobody can tell it better than the person who is living with these issues every day."

For a full account of the day's events, read our archived live blog below.



Joe Healy's first interview as president will be coming up shortly on the Irish Farmers Journal.


Irish Farmers Journal reporter Anthony Jordan gets reactions to the election of Joe Healy as IFA president on the floor of the count centre.



Missed our live panel discussion this evening? Watch back as Irish Farmers Journal news editor Patrick Donohoe is joined by IFA Cork central chair Harold Kingston, Irish Country Living editor Mairead Lavery and Macra president Sean Finan to discuss the result of the IFA presidential election.


New deputy president Richard Kennedy says it's a great honour to stand here today.

"I believe passionately in IFA - it is absolutely critical to my business as a farmer. It is critical to our survival. When we had all the bad news last year, I felt I lost something, and I felt vulnerable. I thought long and hard, and I said 'look, put up your hand and see where it takes you.' I know it's only the beginning, and I'll be here to support Joe all the way.

I'm deeply honoured - I'll give it my best shot. I have a lot of work in front of me. We've a good team, we've a new team, and I'm sure that the new boss will keep us going, to make this organisation what it has to be to protect the livelihoods of Irish farmers."


Nigel Renaghan says the campaign has "been a blast."

"I met some really good, honest farmers who weren't afraid to voice their opinions. You've seen the first of Nigel Renaghan, and you haven't seen the last.

"I'll roll behind Joe and Richard now, and if anybody wants anything, or any help, I'm your man."


Pat Farrell says he will give his "full support to the president and the deputy president moving forward" in the IFA.


Richard Kennedy has been announced as the new IFA deputy president with a total of 14,531 votes.


The new IFA deputy president is about to be announced..


The IFA's new first lady Margaret Healy reacts to the election of her husband Joe:


Unsuccessful presidential candidate Henry Burns says he is glad the election is over because he will need the IFA to work for him as a normal farmer. Listen to his reaction in our podcast below:

Meanwhile, Flor McCarthy wishes Joe Healy every success in his new job after losing the IFA presidential to him. Listen to his reaction in our podcast below:



Wishing him well in his apointment, Fine Gael MEP Seán Kelly MEP congratulated Joe Healy as he takes over at a challenging time for agriculture.

"I want to send my congratulations to Joe on his election and also to the two other candidates Henry Burns and Flor McCarthy. All three held interesting and lively debates over the course of the campaign and I attended many of them," said Mr Kelly.


Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has also offered his congratulations.

"I have worked closely with the IFA on many issues since my election to the European Parliament and my appointment to the Agriculture & Rural Development committee. Everything I have done in Europe, just like my colleagues in the Dáil and in the Stormont Assembly, has been focused on securing fair prices and conditions for Irish family farmers.

"In this regard I look forward to engaging with the new President in the coming weeks and years and I wish him well over his term.”


Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney has released a statement congratulating new IFA president Joe Healy:

"I would like to congratulate Joe Healy on his election as the new President of the IFA following a keenly fought election campaign.

The IFA is an organisation which provides strong representation for farmers across a range of sectors. I have always enjoyed a good working relationship with the IFA and I look forward to continuing this with Joe.

I would like to wish Joe the very best as he takes office and we continue to work together to ensure that our industry is a world class food producer and exporter."



The count in the deputy president election continues without Nigel Renaghan, who was eliminated after the first count. Listen to his reaction in our podcast below:


Joe Healy has won the presidential election by 50% of the votes. Byrnes received 30.5% of the votes, while McCarthy received 19.5%.

Today's results reflect the Irish Farmers Journal Red C poll results in February:

Excluding those farmers who either said they would not vote or were undecided, the figures in our poll were adjusted to show Healy with 53%. With the simple one-member, one-vote system, Healy would be elected on the first count, without any need for transfers. Burns was on 31%, with McCarthy on 16%.


The second count for the deputy president is starting soon. A result is expected to be announced shortly after 8pm.


Listen to Joe Healy's acceptance speech below and hear why he's been waiting 26 years to finally beat Henry Burns.



Blessed is he amongst women. Joe Healy and his family after his election as president of the IFA.


In his victory speech, the new IFA president Joe Healy says agriculture is at a cornerstone of rural Ireland, and has to be respected as such:

"We need the support of our government, and also the support of Brussels, to make sure our agriculture model in Ireland is safegaurded. IFA is a necessary organisation for Irish agriculture going forward.

I'd like to thank my family, neighbours, friends, and the people who have travelled head to head all over country to support me.

I absolutely consider that I was up against the best in this campaign. I have no doubt that they will be a huge support to me, and to this organisation, going forward. Our strenght is in our numbers, and in our ability to acheive for Irish farmers."


Flor McCarthy thanks his supporters, saying the IFA is needed now more than ever with the crisis.

"One of the most difficult presidencies, and it will be a challenge to put it right. Joe has my 100% support."


Henry Burns congratulates Joe Healy on his win. He says IFA is at a crossroads:

"Whatever work is going on in IFA, we aren't going anywhere unless we're united, and that's for sure.

I couldn't bring myself to criticise the organistation, that honest work and endevour that has been done over last 60 years, and it will continue."


Joe Healy has a straight win on the first count. He is now the new IFA president.


The results of the first count for president is about to be announced.


Take a look at our latest update from Pat O'Toole:


The numbers turning out to vote in this election are down 13%. In the last election in December 2013 31,726 IFA members cast their vote. It should be remembered that there were regional elections boosting votes, and the IFA had an estimated 5,000 more members.



The quota of 13,859 votes has not been reached on the first count. Nigel Renaghan has been eliminated and his votes will be re-distributed.


The first count of the results of the deputy president are being announced now.


Speaking to the Irish Farmers Journal shortly after his election as Munster IFA chairman, John Coughlan has called on a unity within the association.


Before the gruelling campaign to become the next president of the IFA began, we caught up with the three candidates. In an insight like no other the three of them laid their cards on the table, telling the nation why they deserved to be the next president. Kerryman Flor McCarthy put inspections and eligibility at the top of his priority list. Galwayman Joe Healy said he was ‘passionate about agriculture, farm politics and betterment of Irish farmers', while Laoisman Henry Burns declared that “the power is not with the farmer”.

After the candidates travelled the country to hustings in every county we caught up with them again for a final sum up in a special edition of around the editors table.


Crowds are building now in anticipation of the president and deputy president results.


John Coughlan: "I told you I would work tirelessly for farmers. I'll always be available."

John O'Brien: "Don't estimate the farm income crisis, because we haven't seen the end of it. I'll be back."


90% of branches are now counted. Not long to go!


Deputy presidential candidate Nigel Renaghan talks about the IFA on the ground, and who he thinks will win: Burns, Healy or McCarthy?




Bert Stewart and James Murphy have both officially returned unopposed, as regional chairmen for Ulster/north Leinster and south Leinster respectively. Meanwhile, there's no mention of the Connacht situation.


We're now into the last 100 branches to be counted here today.


Listen back to our interview with John Coughlan in the run up to the elections here.


John Coughlan has just been announced as Munster regional chair. He won by 1,171 votes to 609 votes for Johnny O’Brien.



Tom Goonan, a friend and supporter of Joe Healy, shares his thoughts on how the count is going for his favoured IFA presidential candidate.​


85% of the votes are now tallied: Healy leads on 47%, while Burns is on 30% and McCarthy is on 23%.


Anthony Jordon gets the reaction from the floor at the IFA election results.


Keeping up to date with our live map of results.



It's a landslide victory for Henry Burns in his home county of Laois, winning by 1,916 votes.


Counting for Galway is underway now. There is a good possibility that Joe Healy will be elected on the first count.


Missed our live lunchtime panel discussion? Catch up below as Irish Farmers Journal news editor Patrick Donohoe and news correspondent Pat O'Toole are joined by Irish Country Living editor Mairead Lavery and Meath IFA chairman Diarmuid Lally to discuss the evolution of the count and the impact of the past two months' campaign.


72% of votes are counted for IFA president, with Healy at 48%, McCarthy 28% and Burns 24%.



The votes are in for Kildare and Leitrim: Henry Burns has won by 406 votes in Kildare, while Joe Healy has won by 222 votes in Leitrim.


As the count for IFA Munster chairman gets underway, we speak with both candidates. Listen to John O'Brien in our podcast below:

And listen to John Coughlan in the next podcast:


Roscommon, Donegal and Meath have also voted for Joe Healy, while Offaly has voted for Henry Burns.


All the results are now in for Mayo. Healy has won with 1089 votes, followed by Burns with 57 votes, and finally McCarthy with 29 votes.



So far, the votes have been counted for 13 constituencies. Joe Healy is in the lead winning 10 constituencies, followed by Flor McCarthy who won two, and Henry Burns who won one.



Counting is over half way now, with 63% of branches completed.


Pat O'Toole gives an update on the count so far


Latest: boxes are opening to elect the Munster regional chairman: it's between Johnny O'Brien and John Coughlan.

Tommy Moyles interviewed the Munster chair candidates John Coughlan and Johnny O’Brien back in March.


Latest counties result: Healy wins Dublin, Cork north and Cork central, Tipperary north and south and Sligo.

Joe Healy wins Limerick with 782 votes

Flor McCarthy wins Kerry with 3,248 votes

Joe Healy wins Clare with 667 votes

Listen to an interview with James Speares, IFA county chairman for Cavan, who is supporting Nigel Renaghan in the race for IFA deputy president.


Latest national presidential count: with 47% of branches counted, Joe Healy has 5,426 votes, Flor McCarthy 3,803 and Henry Burns 2,580. Visit our results page for more details.


Catch up with this morning's discussion on the counting method and expectations for today with IFA national chairman and returning officer Jer Bergin in the video below:


National returning officer, Jer Bergin, denies allegations of stuffed ballots, putting all irregularities down to "human error".


Full county result: Flor McCarthy wins Cork west


It appears that there have been some irregularities with Limerick branch, Broadford. Odile Evans talks to Limerick chair Aidan Gleeson to find out more:


Listen to an interview with Henry Burns in our podcast below:


Full county result: Joe Healy wins Waterford.


Full county result: Henry Burns wins Wicklow. Get detailed results on our dedicated page.


Photo special: tallymen and women in action. See more pictures in our gallery above.


Update on the deputy race: with 39% of branches counted, Richard Kennedy is approaching 5,000 votes, while Pat Farrell and Nigel Renaghan are around 2,300 each.


First full county result: Joe Healy has won in Louth. Get detailed results on our dedicated page.


Listen to Joe Healy in our podcast below:


Listen to an interview with Flor McCarthy below:


It's a close race between Joe Healy and Flor McCarthy, who have overtaken each other several times in the past hour. With 16% of branches counted, Joe is in front with 1,857 votes vs. 1,712 for Flor. Henry Burns is on 715.


Link back to our live results page here.


The latest for deputy presidential candidates based on 10% of the branches:

468 votes Pat Farrell

1,241 for Richard Kennedy

516 for Nigel Renaghan

The latest for presidential candidates based on 9% - 81 branches counted

Burns: 347

Healy: 845

McCarthy: 979 votes



McCarthy is still leading with 973, followed by Healy with 832, followed by Burns with 331 votes.


61 branches counted (6%) - they show that so far McCarthy is in the lead with 655 votes, followed by Healy with 628 and Burns on 236.

As regards deputy presidential candidates Richard Kennedy is powering ahead with 1,212 votes, followed by Nigel Renaghan with 413 votes, followed by 395 for Pat Farrell.



Panel discussion with Pat O'Toole, Ger Bergin and Patrick Donohoe will be underway soon


Joe Healy leading in Wexford by 15 votes


McCarthy dominating west Cork and Kerry and Healy is dominating Cork central and cork north. McCarthy has no votes in Connacht so far.


Healy is cleaning up in Roscommon

144 votes so far for Henry Burns

441 for Joe Healy

Flor McCarthy has 328 including Kerry


2% of deputy first count completed. 38% of the votes so far have gone to Richard Kennedy

Listen to Pat O'Toole discuss the feeling in the count centre ahead of the results


And the count is underway! Keep tuned for live updates of the results of the counting as it happens.


Good morning and welcome to our live blog covering all the action from the count to elect the fifteenth president of the Irish Farmers Association.

The three candidates, Henry Burns (Laois), Joe Healy (Galway) and Flor McCarthy (Kerry), have all arrived and the excitement is palpable.

The count centre will open soon with the count to elect the regional chairmen the first to get underway.

Stay tuned to our live blog throughout the day for news as it happens.

Tommy Moyles interviewed the Munster chair candidates John Coughlan and Johnny O’Brien back in March.

  • Watch our live video stream for hourly updates, panel discussions at 10.30am, 1.30pm and 6.30pm and the announcement of the 15th president of the IFA around 9pm
  • Visit our results page for live maps and graphs updated as the count progresses
  • Join the conversation on social media through our Facebook and Twitter channels; to get all the behind-the-scenes photos and videos, follow farmersjournal on Snapchat
  • The count takes place in the Castleknock Hotel, Dublin 15.

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    Full Coverage: IFA Election Day