Hugh Farrell has been appointed as the next general secretary of the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA).

Farrell is a suckler farmer from Ballyconnell, Co Cavan, who previously sat as ICSA animal health and welfare chair after a spell as county chair.

He also ran for the association’s presidency in 2019.

Farrell fills the vacancy left by Eddie Punch in March, who headed the farming organisation for 25 years.

Punch is running in the European elections in the Ireland South constituency for Independent Ireland.

Farrell stated that the roles he held with the ICSA have provided him with an insight into its members’ needs.

“This experience has given me a comprehensive understanding of our members' diverse needs and I am committed to effectively representing their interests at both national and EU levels,” he said.

“[The] ICSA is the one true voice of Irish cattle and sheep farmers and I want to ensure that every cattle and sheep farmer in Ireland feels supported and heard.”

Membership growth

Speaking to the Irish Farmers Journal, Farrell stated that he intends on steering the group towards increasing its membership.

“My vision is to continue onwards with my track record of serving the ICSA and its members. I want to reach out to more farmers and be there to develop the ICSA and to grow the organisation,” he said.

“We have farmers in every county and have a great appreciation for them. But we can offer the same service to more farmers. We can spread our wings.”

Well wishes

The association’s president Seán McNamara wished Farrell well for his time at the helm as the ICSA.

“His proven commitment to advocating for the rights and welfare of farmers and rural communities makes him an invaluable asset to our organisation,” the president commented.

“I am confident that Hugh's leadership will strengthen [the] ICSA’s efforts in championing the rights and interests of Irish cattle and sheep farmers.”