Thomas Cooney of Laragh, Co. Cavan has officially launched his campaign to be the next deputy president of the IFA.
If elected as deputy president, Cooney said that he will work “tirelessly” to ensure that all issues that impact on farmers; Brexit, CAP reform, pressure on commodity prices, climate change regulations and trade deals, will be addressed to ensure a “viable future” for the farmers the length and breadth of Ireland.
“I am tired of farmer incomes being eroded. I am tired of farming being portrayed as part of the climate problem.”
“We are all working harder to produce some of the best food in the world. Prices are coming down; costs are going up and regulations are getting tougher. I want to change this for the farmers of Ireland.” he said.
Speaking about his track record representing farmers in the past, Mr. Cooney pointed to his involvement as a representative in a number of campaigns.
He has been a member of the IFA since he started farming in 1994 and has been attending branch meetings and protests ever since.
“I vividly remember being part of IFA’s Tractorcade in 2003 which was organised by the then president, John Dillon.” “Hundreds of tractors left Cavan that day. Many of those people are here tonight (Monday, September 30th).”
“We went to Dublin on many WTO protests and trying to minimize the effects of the recession on farming.
“I have no qualms about representing the farmers of Ireland. I’ve had face-to-face with a range of government Ministers, An Taoiseach, senior civil servants and three EU Commissioners to do my best to make improvements for farm families.”
Reminding supporters of his experience, Tom said: “With the support of Cavan IFA in 2011, I was selected to represent the county on the National Environment Committee, going on in 2016 to become National Chairman of that Committee.”
“During that time, I have worked tirelessly to end the duplication of tractor testing proposed by the RSA, to deliver waste tyre bring centres in Cootehill and across the country, to deliver the renewal of the nitrates derogation, to have hazardous waste collection put in place, to deliver the smart farming programme, which has shown we can reduce our bills by at least €5,000.”
“I wouldn’t be able to run the campaign and the farm without the support I receive from my wife Olivia and daughters Ellen and Hannah.
“I feel the experience and contacts I have gained over the last three-and-a-half-years will stand to me as we face the many challenges,” he concluded.
Image source: Thomas Cooney \ Facebook