The European elections saw quite an overlap with farming politics, past and present.

A who’s who of farming wandered through during the marathon five-day count in Castlebar. An early appearance was made by recent IFA deputy president Brian Rushe, who was closely involved in Barry Cowen’s successful campaign.

Another Barry spotted was Barry Cassidy, formerly of this parish, who is now Minister of State Martin Heydon’s adviser. Heydon masterminded Nina Carberry’s successful tilt at a seat, and was at her side as the final result came in.

Minister Charlie McConalogue had been director of elections for Niall Blaney, but the two Donegal men couldn’t overcome the geographical challenges that constituency posed. Ciarán Mullooly had Independent Ireland’s Michael Fitzmaurice at his side through the entire campaign, but two familiar faces to farmers crossed the agri-politics divide to work on his behalf.

Adrian Leddy, the former IFA regional development officer across Roscommon, Leitrim, Sligo and Longford, and Pat O’Rourke, the former ICMSA president, would not always have seen eye to eye in the past.

Following his time at the helm of ICMSA, O’Rourke served as chair of Northern Ireland’s Livestock and Meat Commission for six years.

Ironically, it was Michelle Gildernew, then Northern Ireland’s Minister for Agriculture, who appointed him to that position, but they found themselves in opposite camps in the recent election.