Jer Bergin paid tribute to supporters and canvassers as his bid for the IFA Presidency ended in defeat last Tuesday, December 17.
A large Laois contingent travelled to the count centre at the Castleknock Hotel for the day long count which commenced at 9am.
From early tallies it was evident that Bergin was in trouble, confirming a feeling of foreboding which had emerged in the camp in the final days of the campaign.
Meath farmer and current deputy president, Eddie Downey established an early lead, which became unassailable as counties like Kerry, Cork and Waterford went his way during the day.
By mid afternoon the Bergin camp was bowing to the inevitable.
Bergin took some comfort from the support of neighbouring counties, with the notable exception of Offaly which went for Downey.
In the end Downey was elected on a vote of 1,079, as opposed to Bergin’s 779, a margin of 300 votes.
Bergin carried Wexford, Mayo, Clare, Tipperary North, Kilkenny, Kildare, Carlow, Wicklow and of course Laois.
Jer Bergin thanked Laois IFA for all their work on his behalf.
Downey will become the 14th President of of the IFA when current incumbent, John Bryan concludes his four year term in January.
In the Deputy Presidential election, outsider Tim O’Leary from Cork defeated JJ Kavanagh of Wexford by a slim 19 votes.
Jer Bergin is currently the IFA Leinster vice-president and also chairs the association’s climate change and renewables project team and its roads project team.
He is a former vice-chairman of the IFA national livestock committee and has served on the IFA national council for 13 of the past 15 years.
He has held a range of key positions at local level including that of Laois county chairman.
He announced his candidature at the annual general meeting of Laois IFA earlier this year. He is regarded as one of IFA’s leading negotiators.