Eight officers of Kerry IFA have been relieved of their positions by the IFA national council. The sanction was approved at a special meeting on Tuesday.

All current officers of Kerry IFA were asked to sign a written undertaking that is understood committed them to abiding by the rules of the association.

Eight officers refused to do so.

The eight individuals concerned are Billy Dee (Kerry IFA vice-chair) Mary Fleming (second delegate to the IFA’s national council) Francis Foley (Kerry IFA forestry representative) ) Kathleen Herlihy (Kerry IFA farm family representative) Shane McAuliffe (Kerry IFA animal health representative) Helen O’Mahony (Kerry IFA farm business representative) John O’Sullivan (Kerry IFA PRO) and Owen O’Sullivan (Kerry IFA dairy representative).

A second motion pertaining to each of the eight, which would have seen them suspended from attaining an officer position in the organisation for four years was withdrawn by the IFA president. Each of the eight individuals were invited to attend the meeting, but none did. The Irish Farmers Journal understands that eight medical certificates were forwarded, one for each individual.

There has been strife in Kerry IFA for some years now, with former dairy chair Michael O'Dowd relieved of his role and precluded from seeking an officer position in the organisation for a period of four years. This followed a complaint against him and others by chairman Kenny Jones. There currently are three active complaint procedures, one from Shane McAuliffe, one from Helen O'Mahony, and an outstanding matter relating to Kenny Jones complaint.

No IFA election hustings could be held in Kerry last year. Since his election as IFA president, Francie Gorman has chaired two meetings in Kerry to find a solution. The undertaking was meant to allow all current officers move forward together with a clean slate, although ongoing complaint procedures would have to run their course. It’s understood that signing this undertaking will be required of all people seeking IFA officer positions going forward.