Dermot Kelleher first started farming in 1981, after he married his wife of 42 years, Mary, at a young age. He took over the family farm and worked part-time with a contractor.
The ICSA presidential candidate expanded the farm by purchasing land and reclaiming a small number of acres. The farm eventually grew to 90-acres and this is where he has been farming since.
Dermot originally ran a dairy enterprise; however, the introduction of milk quotas meant that is was no longer viable and he moved to suckler farming in 1985.
He joined the ICSA about 23 years ago when Albert Thompson was president. Dermot has previously held the position of National Chairman of the ICSA’s suckler committee for six years and is currently the Vice-President of Munster for the association since 2016.
The Cork man has raised a family of two sons and three daughters, having lost a third son as a baby. The farmer also works as a postman for the local Cork community of Inchigeelagh, between Macroom and Bantry in West Cork, but plans for retirement are close, allowing the farmer extra time to commit his efforts to the ICSA.
Both of his sons are farmers and this gives him even more of a reason to run for the role because he “wants to see a fair system for all farmers,” future and present.
Speaking about the €100m Brexit Beef fund, he said, “We have to get back to basics and look after our suckler, sheep farmers, and beef finishers and put more money in farmers pockets”.
“If you divided out that €100 between all the people involved in the industry it’s nothing”.
The suckler farmer also said that the problem with the country is that not enough is being paid for beef saying that there is "no added value for beef".
“I will be a voice for anyone that wants input into the proposals of the national executive. I put my hand up straight away because I’m a member for the last 20-odd years and you need plenty of time to do the job and you need the dedication.”
The candidate was also chairman of ICSA Cork West approximately 22 years ago and has served time as chairman of the Cork and Kerry Charolais Club for a number of years.
The election date is set for Thursday, June 27th.