Liam Herlihy strode into a lecture room temporarily housing the waiting media at Kildalton College on Monday last with a purposeful, proud, undaunted gait.
The Glanbia Co-op Society Chairman certainly didn’t cut the look of a defeated man following the rejection of the deal to acquire the plc’s Irish dairy and agri business.
Statistically he wasn’t; 73 per cent of the 4060 who voted in Kildalton agreed with Mr Herlihy and his fellow Board members when it came to creating a new future for dairy farmers.
But the rules governing the Co-op which required 75 per cent approval meant that Herlihy, as far as the rule book was concerned, was just that. Defeated. While beaten on that count, he remained unbowed.
“At a time like this, one has to batten down the hatches and see what’s positive in life,” he said stoically.
“Today I feel, even in defeat, and while this resolution has gone down, I feel proud to be in charge of the board that I’m in charge of. They’re a tremendous team of men.”
Despite what must have been a crushing personal disappointment, Herlihy said there was only one person that he felt sorry for following the narrow failure of the board’s campaign – Geoff Meagher.
“We brought Geoff on board when we need somebody we could trust, when we needed someone we could rely on and he stuck with us every single day and night – he rang me on several occasions at 11 o’clock at night during the difficult stages of the negotiations.
“A person like that with that level of commitment was what we needed and I’m so proud of Geoff and people like him today.”
See The Munster Express newspaper for full story.