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