Ian Marshall (farmer)

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Ian Marshall
Ian Marshall.jpg
Assumed office
27 April 2018
ConstituencyAgricultural Panel
Personal details
Markethill, County Armagh, Northern Ireland
Political partyIndependent Unionist[1]
Alma materUlster University

Ian Marshall (born 1968)[2] is a farmer and politician from Markethill, County Armagh, in Northern Ireland.[3] He is from a unionist background and campaigned against Brexit.[3][4] He was elected to Seanad Éireann in Dublin in 2018.[5]


Marshall is a dairy farmer in the agrifood sector and was president of the Ulster Farmers' Union (UFU) from 2014 to 2016.[6][7] In 2015 he invested in the controversial Renewable Heat Incentive scheme and later complained that its critics made no distinction between legitimate investors and those who misused the scheme.[8] In February 2017 the UFU successfully challenged a 2012 reduction by DARD in Marshall's CAP grant, provoked by nitrate pollution detected by NIEA near his farm in 2010–2011, on the basis that the pollution was unintentional.[9] In August 2017, Marshall was appointed Business Development Manager at the Institute for Global Food Security in Queen's University Belfast.[10][11]


Marshall was elected to the 25th Seanad on 27 April 2018 in a by-election for the Agricultural Panel.[12] The vacancy was caused by the resignation of Denis Landy. He was approached to stand by Leo Varadkar, the Taoiseach and Fine Gael leader; his candidacy was also supported by Sinn Féin.[11][12] He has never been a member of a political party and sits as an independent.[13] He is the first unionist member of the Oireachtas since the 1930s.[14]


  1. ^ https://www.irishnews.com/lifestyle/2019/04/20/news/ian-marshall-becoming-a-member-of-the-seanad-has-strengthened-my-unionism-1600090/
  2. ^ "First unionist Senator turned down Orange Order as teen". Belfast Telegraph. 2 July 2018.
  3. ^ a b McMahon, Aine (16 February 2018). "Former Ulster Farmers' Union president set to run for Seanad". The Irish Times. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  4. ^ "Sinn Féin to back anti-Brexit campaigner Ian Marshall for the Seanad". The Irish Times. 24 April 2018.
  5. ^ "Ian Marshall". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 4 July 2019.
  6. ^ "Sinn Féin backs unionist farmer Ian Marshall for Senate". BBC News. 24 April 2018.
  7. ^ Donnelly, Margaret (1 May 2014). "New leadership team elected at UFU AGM". Agriland. Retrieved 27 April 2018.; "New leadership team at UFU". News (Press release). Ulster Farmers Union. 26 April 2018. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  8. ^ McCullough, Chris (19 December 2016). "End witch hunt, urges ex-farmers' union chief who signed up for RHI". Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  9. ^ "Judicial review supports UFU position ,". News (Press release). Ulster Farmers Union. 7 February 2017. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  10. ^ "Ian Marshall IGFS appointment". Staff Gateway. Queen's University Belfast. 1 August 2017. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  11. ^ a b "Sinn Féin backs unionist farmer in Seanad by-election". RTÉ.ie. 24 April 2018. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  12. ^ a b "Unionist farmer takes one of two Seanad seats". RTÉ News. 27 April 2018.
  13. ^ Adair, Gordon (27 April 2018). "Sinn Féin votes help unionist into Irish senate". BBC Online. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
  14. ^ 1998 Review of "Crisis and Decline; the fate of the Southern Unionists" by Geoffrey Wheatcroft.