Cavan kicks off day of farmers protest
Cavan is the site selected to start a series of protests held by farmers to express concerns about State policies they believe will affect Ireland's ability to produce food. Next Friday farmer will attend rallies in Cavan (7.30am), Roscommon (12.30pm), Portlaoise (5.30pm) and Cork City (8.30pm).
The Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) hold the four regional rallies to highlight what they describes as “government’s action in pursuing policies that will decimate Ireland’s largest indigenous sector”.
Led by the IFA president, Tim Cullinan, the aim it to flag the signification changes that are proposed: “We are sounding an alarm. Without proper negotiation with farmers and a coherent plan, farming and food production will be unrecognisable. We want the government to get serious and sit down to develop a workable farm-level plan,” he said.
Chairperson of Cavan Executive IFA, Elizabeth Ormiston, says getting farmers out on the street is a very necessary act: “There are three very important reasons for the rallies. CAP negotiations, the nitrates directive and climate action policies are going to have an enormous impact on Irish agriculture. Charlie McConalogue, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, is not engaging with farmers on a meaningful way. He is only paying lip service and we have to draw attention to that.”
The recently passed Climate Action Bill means Ireland has to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 51%. This has been described as “the biggest policy challenges in the history of the State” by the IFA. The far organisation say the target was decided upon “without any consideration of the consequences for the economy, or for Irish farming”.
Soon to be published carbon budgets,along with the Sectoral Emissions Ceilings, will dictate emissions ceiling for Irish agriculture.
“Most farmers do not realise the tsunami that is going to hit them down the line,” Ms Ormiston says of the fall out of , “EU convergence is a very live issue.”
Farmers examining their 2021 Basic Payment Scheme information packs received in the post recently may have missed the reduction of 2.05% in the value of their payment entitlements. Convergence is the process to redistribute and flatten the value of CAP payment entitlements. To date €93m has been redistributed by convergence from farmers with payment entitlements values above the national average, to farmers that were below the national average in order to raise the latter's value of payment entitlements.
Elizabeth says Friday's gathering is an awareness raising exercise: “Farmers have always been custodians of the environment. Ireland's record on producing quality food in a sustainable manner is second to none. We need to raise awareness in government of what we are doing right instead of always being pointed at as the instigators of Ireland's carbon problem. This rally is about getting that message across.”
Farmers will gather in the car park of the Meadowview Inn, Dublin Rad Cavan from 7:00am.