Ireland’s farming community is in mourning this week for former IFA president Paddy Lane, whose funeral took place yesterday in his native Parteen, Co Clare.
The IFA’s fourth national president, Mr Lane served from 1976 to 1980. He also held a number of other prominent public roles in his long working life, including being a director with Bank of Ireland, being elected as an MEP in 1989, serving as a lieutenant in the Irish Army, and playing rugby for both Munster and Ireland.
Following a funeral mass at Parteen Church yesterday, Mr Lane’s burial took place at Mount Saint Lawrence Cemetery. His wife, Carmel, died last year. Mr Lane will be missed by his children, Tommy, David, and Liz.
IFA president John Bryan paid tribute to Mr Lane, and praised his leadership of the organisation at what was a difficult time economically, with high inflation and interest rates eroding farm incomes.
"Paddy Lane, who was a powerful voice for farmers, had a longstanding commitment to IFA and serving the farming community," said Mr Bryan.
"He led a successful campaign of opposition to the then minister for finance George Colley’s notorious 2% sales levy.
"Paddy Lane battled for better conditions and facilities for farmers, and a more receptive attitude in the Department of Agriculture.
"Earlier this year, the IFA conferred honorary life membership on Paddy Lane at a meeting of the Clare IFA Executive, and I recall him being deeply honoured. On behalf of our membership, I want to extend our sympathies to his family."
An ex-army officer, he ran a dairy farm in Parteen, Co Clare, and was capped for the Ireland rugby team in 1964. He also served as IFA deputy president from 1974 to 1976 and as a member of the European Parliament from 1989-1994.
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