‘My wife got used to me hop­ping over to Brus­sels’

Irish Independent - Farming - - ANALYSIS -

JOHN COMER was com­fort­ably elected as pres­i­dent of the 16,000-strong ICMSA – Ire­land’s old­est farm­ing or­gan­i­sa­tion — in 2014, be­com­ing the first dairy farmer from the west to fill the post.

He is a mem­ber of the EU’s eco­nomic and so­cial com­mit­tee; his term of of­fice here has a fur­ther two years to run.

His home farm in Bally vary, near Castle­bar in Co Mayo, has a 50-strong dairy herd along­side a suck­ler and beef-fin­ish­ing en­ter­prise. He is a long­stand­ing ad­vo­cate of the Ir­ish fam­ily farm model.

Mr Comer is mar­ried to Michelle, who runs a preschool in the area, and the cou­ple have three chil­dren: Jack, who has just started a ru­ral en­ter­prise course at Mount­bellew Agri­cul­tural Col­lege and Gal­way IT; and Sinead and Aoife, who are com­plet­ing their sec­ond-level ed­u­ca­tion in Kil­timagh.

“I have been talk­ing to Michelle about the Euro­pean elec­tions and she seems open to the idea of me run­ning for the Par­lia­ment — I sup­pose she got used to me hop­ping over to Brus­sels dur­ing my term as ICMSA pres­i­dent,” he says.

Fi­anna Fáil head­quar­ters are aware of his in­ter­est in run­ning for the party next May and have done noth­ing to dis­cour­age this in­ter­est.

For now Comer is in cam­paign mode and has swapped the wellies for a suit as he trav­els to meet the FF grass­roots and garner sup­port for his can­di­dacy.

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