The death has occurred of Padraig Walshe, the Laois man who was a former president of the Irish Farmers Association. He was aged in his mid 60s.
Mr Walshe, who farmed a dairy enterprise at Bishopswood, Durrow, alongside his wife Ella and son Pat, passed away suddenly earlier today.
He is also survived by his daughters Julieanne, Catherine, Elma and a wide circle of family and friends.
“This sad news has come as a great shock to everyone who knew him through the IFA and beyond. May he rest in peace,” said the association in a statement.
Mr Walshe was highly regarded in farming and political circles having been president of Macra Na Feirme from 1987 to 1989, the IFA from 2006 to 2010 and COPA, the European Farmers Union, from 2009 to 2011.
On top of that he was a past president of the Irish Grassland Association, chairman of Farmer Business Developments PLC and a non-executive director of FBD Holdings.
His election as IFA president in December 2005 was a huge moment for him and his family, seeing him take over from John Dillon and become the 12th president of the association.
He defeated Ruadhri Deasy from Tipperary and Raymond O’Malley from Louth to be elected to the role, a considerable feat that entailed canvassing almost 1,000 branches of the IFA across the country.
Closer to home he was a hugely proud supporter of Laois and The Harps GAA, a regular at Laois matches in both hurling and football, and at club games where he closely followed the fortunes of his son Pat who hurls with the Durrow-Cullohill outfit.