South Galway farmer, Pat Murphy, has accepted the nomination to run for the position of deputy president of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA). Murphy, who currently serves as the IFA Connaught regional chair and is a former Galway county IFA, made the announcement after accepting the nomination at the September meeting of the Galway county executive. Murphy stated that he decided to run for the position because he was approached by individuals who trust and know him. He emphasized the need for the IFA leadership to include young full-time farmers and those who understand the challenges faced by farm families. Murphy outlined six key areas he aims to focus on if elected, including calf exports, carbon credits, emission targets, family farming, nature restoration law, and the price of food.
One of Murphy’s main concerns is the importance of calf exports to the national herd. He believes that exports provide vital competition to the power of factories and that holding back too many calves can have negative consequences in the long term. Murphy stressed the need for improvements in breed, quality, health, and supply in order to maintain a strong calf export market. He warned that if action is not taken, Ireland will fall behind and lose control over its own destiny.
Murphy also advocates for compensation for farmers who sequester or store carbon on their land. He believes that farmers should be credited for any actions they take to reduce carbon emissions on their farms. Murphy highlighted the challenges faced by farmers across the country, including the potential reduction of the nitrates derogation from 250kg of organic nitrogen (N) per hectare to 220kg N/ha. He described this reduction as a significant blow to dairy farmers and their families, as it will directly impact profitability and may lead to a decrease in cow numbers or an increase in land rental.
In addition to Pat Murphy, Alice Doyle, the chair of the IFA’s Farm Family and Social Affairs committee, has also confirmed her candidacy for the position of deputy president of the IFA.
Overall, Murphy’s decision to run for deputy president of the IFA reflects his commitment to representing the interests of farmers and addressing key issues such as calf exports, carbon credits, and the challenges faced by farm families. His candidacy, along with that of Alice Doyle, demonstrates the dedication of individuals within the IFA to the betterment of the agricultural sector in Ireland.