Ever since Julie Sinnamon announced she would be retiring as CEO of Enterprise Ireland at the end of 2020, speculation has abounded about who might land one of the most attractive jobs across all Government agencies. With a starting salary of €190,000, who wouldn’t be interested?

Bord Bia’s Tara McCarthy was rumoured to be considering throwing her hat in the ring, but The Dealer understands she has not put herself forward.

Internal candidates in Enterprise Ireland such as Kevin Sherry, Stephen Creaner and Paul McKeown are all likely to apply.

The Dealer is told that Declan Hughes, assistant secretary general in the Department of Business and Enterprise and a current board member of Enterprise Ireland, is also interested in the post.

Other outside candidates that have been linked with the role include John Moran, former secretary general of the Department of Finance, and Mary Buckley, executive director at the IDA.

McCormack nominated for round 2

I see Tipperary’s Pat McCormack has been nominated to serve a second three-year term as ICMSA president without challenge. He will be installed as president at a virtual national council meeting on 18 December.

Deputy president Lorcan McCabe will stand for a second three-year term and a challenger is waiting in the wings in Des Morrison, current livestock committee chair. Morrison is also running again for chair of the livestock committee. Denis Drennan is looking for another term as farm and rural affairs chair and Shane O’Loughlin is looking to remain as chair of the farm business committee.

Kieran O’Brien of Meath is standing unopposed for a seat on the executive committee, while DJ Keohane, a sitting committee member, will be challenged by fellow Cork farmer Brendan Hinchion.

Voting will be by post, with independent observers present for opening and counting of the votes.

Don’t put your bullock on the wrong boat

Listening to a Department of Agriculture in Northern Ireland (NI) Brexit event on Tuesday it became clear about the mountain of red tape coming for those who trade goods from Britain to NI. The key message? Don’t put your cattle on the wrong boat. They can only enter NI at Larne Port, so if the animals arrive in Belfast, it is straight back to Scotland. The fact that Belfast and Larne ports are only 23 miles (38km) apart is irrelevant. “The only way to get to Larne is by sea” said NI’s chief vet Robert Huey.

Poots hospitalised after meeting with McConalogue

Agriculture Ministers on either side of the Irish border met on Thursday to discuss various issues, including the thorny issue of the PGI for Irish grass fed beef. By Sunday evening Minister Edwin Poots was in the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast. Of course, it had nothing to do with Thursday’s meeting, but it makes for a good headline all the same. Minister Poots had a perforated appendix and an emergency operation. We wish him a speedy recovery.

Movers and shakers in and out of Teagasc

The Dealer hears UCD lecturer Bridget Lynch has handed in her notice and is soon to join Teagasc in Johnstown Castle. The commute will be shorter for Bridget, who is setting up a dairy enterprise in Wexford with her husband, former livestock editor with the Irish Farmers Journal Padraig Foley, who also happens to work with Teagasc in Johnstown Castle.

Also on the move is Páidí Kelly. The Tipperary man is leaving Teagasc Moorepark to set up his own advisory and training business in tandem with private consultant Matt Ryan and New Zealand’s Lynaire Ryan.

Páidí is a former dairy specialist from this parish and runs a number of dairy farms in Limerick with business partner James Murphy, who you’ll recognise from the AIB ads.

Hedgerow Week

It’s Hedgerow Week and I see Teagasc is providing information on planting, managing and measuring hedges across the week.

Catherine Keena advised farmers to manage hedges carefully and avoid having hedges like toilet brushes, where all the foliage is at the top and little shelter is provided at the bottom.

It might prevent the neighbour’s sheep from eating my grass as well. I must keep a look out.


Last week, the ICMSA hosted its very informative AGM via Zoom with over 120 farmers across the country tuning in.

The Dealer couldn’t help but notice that during the address by the Minister for Agriculture, one farmer left his camera on his laptop turned on. Resplendent in his overalls, he was busying himself in the kitchen with pots and pans on the stove, clearly putting the dinner on while taking in the minister’s stance on TB. Who said farmers can’t multitask?

Charolais society backing brave

Elphin hosted another flyer on Saturday for the annual Christmas Cracker Charolais sale.

It was not by chance, I hear, with the Charolais society giving €8,000 back to keen buyers. In a year when not much has been happening, with shows and the Ploughing called off, the society wisely chose to invest in improving its premier bull sale. Each of the buyers of the first 20 bulls which surpassed the €4,500 mark were given €400 back. It certainly helped in getting the sale off to a great start and it was refreshing to see a society reinvesting some of its fortunes.