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“A high achiever and a great farmer”; tributes paid to former IFA President and past pupil of a Kilkenny city school Padraig Walshe

KCLR's agricultural correspondent Matt O'Keeffe was a friend of his

Tributes are being paid to a former President of the IFA and St Kieran’s College student.

Padraig Walshe from over the Laois border in Durrow died suddenly of a heart attack yesterday.

He was President of the Irish Farmers Association from 2005 to 2009.

KCLR Farm Show Presenter Matt O’Keeffe says they’d been good friends since their school days in Kilkenny; “It’s hard to put it in the past tense, were good friends, but that’s the truth of it and indeed I’ve known Padraig since St Kieran’s, that’s a long time ago now and in later years then when we got married our wives became great friends, my heart goes out and all our hearts go out to Ella and Pat and the girls”.

He adds “He had achieved so much and was still achieving so much, you know he was President of Macra back in the day, he was President of IFA, President of the European farmers group, also chairman of one of the FBD holdings groups, a high achiever and a great farmer”.

The IFA too is adding its voice to the tributes, current President Tim Cullinan said the farming community was in shock; “This is devastating news for his family. On behalf of the farming community, I want to extend our condolences to his family and friends. This is a huge loss for them and it’s a very difficult time”.

He said Padraig Walshe was a passionate advocate for the development of the farming sector and always insisted that science was the way forward. Through many campaigns at home and abroad, he was fearless in defending farmers.

Padraig Walshe leaves a strong legacy of leadership of farmers, from his time as President of Macra na Feirme, to President of the IFA and also as the first Irish leader to head up the European group of farmers COPA.”

Tim Cullinan said that Padraig Walshe served farmers with distinction in a career that stretches back to 1987 when he was elected President of Macra na Feirme.

He subsequently served as Chairman of the IFA Dairy Committee and as IFA National Treasurer.

In 2006, he became the 12th President of the Irish Farmers Association and in 2009, he had the honour of being elected by farm leaders from across Europe as President of COPA.

Padraig Walshe chaired Farmer Business Developments following his roles in IFA and he continued as a director of FBD until his untimely passing.