March 8, 2023
Public Meeting hears frustration at Government failure to protect family farmers – Chris MacManus MEP

Public Meeting hears frustration at Government failure to protect family farmers – Chris MacManus MEP
 
A public meeting hosted by Chris MacManus MEP in Cootehill last Monday night heard frustration at the failure of successive Governments to tackle the issues facing Irish family farmers and rural communities. The meeting was held in the Errigal Hotel in Cootehill and featured contributions from local TDs Matt Carthy and Pauline Tully, as well as National President of the INHFA Vincent Roddy and IFA Regional Chair for Ulster-North Leinster Frank Brady.
 
Speaking following the meeting, Chris MacManus, MEP for the Midlands Northwest said:
“I was delighted to host this meeting in Cootehill tonight and would like to thank fellow panellists Matt Carthy, Pauline Tully, Vincent Roddy, and Frank Brady, as well as everyone in attendance. It was a very productive meeting with many interesting contributions and proposals which we will be taking on board and which will inform us in our work as we seek to tackle the issues facing Irish family farmers and rural communities.”
 
“It was clear from the meeting that there is huge frustration about successive failure by Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Greens to address issues such as foreign investment funds interfering in rural development and Irish forestry, food security and the mandatory rewetting of peatland used for agriculture, and the lack of protections and supports for family farmers.” 
 
“Family farmers are suffering from increasing input costs, generational loss and depreciation of CAP payments due to inflation, whilst having to do more for less in general.”
 
“The combined impacts of all of this has taken its toll. Input costs have already seen a 34% rise in the last 12 months. Paying 40% more for fertiliser than other EU countries due to corporate greed in Ireland. Meanwhile the Irish government has supported the EU’s increase in funding for the European military industrial complex, using Irish taxpayers money, whilst cutting CAP for family farmers.”
 
“Due to the actions by Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Greens, generations of farmers are now also being locked out of forestry whilst being forced to compete for rural land thanks to foreign investments funds like Gresham House.”
 
“We are also witnessing increased unnecessary administrative burdens for family farmers, who don’t have the resources for this compared to industrial corporate farmers.”
 
“Meanwhile we have seen a collapse in young people going into farming, with the amount of farmers under the age of 35 being halved since 1990, and continuing to further decline.”
 
“The evidence is telling. The Irish government need to address the lack of generational renewal, or the future of the Irish family farming model will go the way of the US where once thriving rural communities are gone, replaced instead by factory farms that can be harmful to people, the soil, water, and air.”
 
“This cannot be allowed to happen in Ireland and I will be continuing to fight for greater supports for Irish agriculture. We need to challenge the top-down approach being imposed on rural Ireland by Brussels and Dublin. It does not work. We must listen to our farming communities in rural Ireland, so we can develop proper grassroots policy that protects our family farming model. Sinn Féin will continue our fight for family farmers at local, national and European level.” ENDS
 
L-R: Vincent Roddy (INHFA), Chris MacManus MEP, Pauline Tully TD, Matt Carthy TD, Frank Brady (IFA)

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