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Farmers demand to be consulted – IFA


STRENGTH IN NUMBERS Pictured are members of the Mayo contingent who attended the IFA rally in Dublin last Sunday, from left: Michael Biggins (Glencorrib), Roy O’Brien (Galway/Mayo IFA Regional Officer), Christopher Murphy (Knock), Calum Murray (Balla), Jarlath Walsh and Sián Fahey, (both Knock), Ruairi Delaney (Ballyhaunis), Áine O’Connell and Vincent Clifford (both Claremorris), Anne Walsh (Knock), Brendan Golden (Killala) and Keith O’Boyle (Hollymount). Pic: Paul Reardon

Farmers attended ‘Save Irish Farming’ rally in Dublin on Saturday

Anton McNulty

MAYO farmers want to be part of the solution on farming changes into the future and will not be dictated to by what others have to say.
That is the opinion of Mayo IFA chairman Jarlath Walsh following the farming organisation’s ‘Save Irish Farming’ rally which took place in Dublin over the weekend. A convoy of tractors including three from Mayo travelled on Sunday morning to Merrion Square in the centre of Dublin.
The main concerns which the IFA say is facing Irish farmers is the national strategic plan for the next CAP and emissions targets. Mr Walsh said that farmers have been ignored in the last few months regarding these new changes and they won’t be ignored any longer.
“We were very happy with it [demonstration] and we hope we got our message across regarding the lack of consultation with the new measures being brought in with the new CAP strategic plan. We want to have an input into the plan and not just listening to the Minister telling us what his plan is, which is what he has been telling us for the last couple of months. He hasn’t taken on board any of our ideas and we are part of the solution,” he told The Mayo News.
The IFA had originally planned to organise a Farm Family Day in Dublin and gather thousands of people in the capital but the plans were scaled back due to the latest Covid-19 situation.
Mr Walsh said Mayo was well represented at the demonstration with himself and county officers, Michael Biggins and Brendan Golden among the Mayo delegation.
“We decided to make our point with the tractors and if we don’t get a response we will have to take it a step further. It is a very important time for farmers and we have to have an input. We can’t be fobbed off,” he said.

Under pressure
Farmers have been under pressure to sign up to schemes which will reduce carbon emissions as part of the country’s climate action plan. However, Mr Walsh said this will have a severe impact on farmers in places like Mayo and feels alternatives need to be looked at before food production is scaled back.
“All the measures that are coming in have one thing in common and that is a reduction in production. A reduction in production will mean a reduction in our incomes and we are not getting compensated for that. We don’t agree a reduction in food reduction is the answer to the climate problem. There is new science coming on board and we think food is too important a commodity to cut it back. The first thing they go for is food production instead of looking at other alternatives available,” he concluded.