Margaret Donnelly: Lucey’s unwavering integrity made the IFA a force to be reckoned with

News broke on Friday that former IFA chief economist Con Lucey passed away.

ucey was well known and respected by farmers and industry having held his position at the IFA for 34 years before retiring in 2008.

During this time he possessed the brilliant ability to distill his figures and reports into meaningful and tangible data.

His presence in the organization added to its credibility outside of the sector and solidified its solid position as one of the most formidable lobby groups in the country in years.

Lucey’s key skill was the ability to educate people about farm impacts and this resonated with farmers.

He knew the value of Europe to Irish farmers and was well respected by the IFA Presidents he worked with, as well as his colleagues in Brussels, the Department and various sectors that IFA dealt with.

The Clare-born economist was not afraid to point out when others were using misleading or inaccurate figures regarding farm income and taxation.

His vast experience enabled him to see all sides of the argument in contentious agricultural matters. He proved himself not to be a weakling and was willing to stand up for his beliefs at crucial moments.

I would argue that Lucey’s courage and integrity was even more apparent after his retirement, when he potentially saved the organization to which he devoted so much of his life.

The IFA’s pay scandal in 2015 brought him back to the federation’s helm when he was asked to lead an audit on pay and transparency within the organisation.

It was proof that IFA leaders knew he was a man whom both they and grassroots members would trust to set the record straight.

The Clare-born economist was not afraid to point out when others were using misleading or inaccurate figures regarding farm income and taxation.

In retirement, Lucey did not rest on his laurels and wrote a number of economics essays on various agricultural subjects, which he was always happy to discuss over coffee.

His contribution to the sector will be greatly missed.

https://www.independent.ie/business/farming/comment/margaret-donnelly-luceys-unwavering-integrity-made-the-ifa-a-force-to-be-reckoned-with-41945498.html Margaret Donnelly: Lucey’s unwavering integrity made the IFA a force to be reckoned with

Fry Electronics Team

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