IFA President Tim Cullinan

COVID concerns see farm family rally plans revised

The IFA are revising their plans for a major protest in Dublin this weekend due to concerns over Covid.

After holding a series of regional protests last month the IFA had intended to heap pressure on the government with a large scale gathering in the capital this Sunday.

The IFA were eager to demonstrate farmers' concerns over the structure of CAP payments, most notably the issue of convergence which would see payments more evenly distributed between farmers, and also the environmental demands being placed on the sector.

However, with daily Covid cases in the thousands, and climbing numbers for hospitalisations and those in ICU the IFA president Tim Cullinan announced the protest plans would have to be revised.

“Based on discussions with our members, and following a meeting of National Council, we believe a modified event involving tractors and machinery that will allow us to send our message is the safest course of action given the current COVID situation,” said Mr Cillinan.

No further details were provided on the event.

IFA President Tim Cullinan said it was a big decision for IFA, but it’s the right thing to do.

“The reality is that IFA has been forced to have this protest because the Government has refused to engage with the IFA on a proper plan for the sector at farm level,” he said.

“I would call again on the Government to negotiate with elected farm leaders and have meaningful engagement to agree a plan for the sector at farm level, including around the CAP,” he said.

The Government has to come up with more funding for Pillar II schemes to support vulnerable sectors.

“Farmers can play our part on climate change, but we need a plan with proper funding that guarantees economic, social and environmental sustainability,” he said.