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Farming & Fisheries

Farmers in show of strength across Cork

February 15th, 2024 7:00 AM

By Martin Claffey

Farmers in show of strength across Cork Image
Making a statement at the West Cork IFA Tractor Run in Clonakilty on Thursday. (Photo: Martin Walsh)

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FARMERS from across West Cork took part in a demonstration which saw a tractor cavalcade travel through Clonakilty last Thursday.

Hundreds of farmers and supporters, and around 160 tractors, gathered in the Clonakilty Showgrounds for the protest at just 12 hours’ notice, with participants coming from as far away as Adrigole and Bantry and across the south-west.

The West Cork IFA’s Tractor Run along Ashe Street in Clonakilty on Thursday. (Photo: Martin Walsh)


‘This was a show of solidarity with farmers in Europe. The issues they have are very similar to the issues we have,’ a spokesman for West Cork IFA said. ‘A common issue is bureaucracy from the EU, the interpretation from our government and implementation without consultation or without economic impact studies or practicality.

‘Farmers have to jump through hoops for no gain, and with no credit for the environmental steps we have taken.’

Some of the participants at the West Cork IFA’s tractor demonstration in Clonakilty. (Photo: Martin Walsh)


IFA West Cork chair Tadhg Healy said the turnout showed the level of frustration and disappointment farmers are feeling.

Tadhg is also grateful for the use of the showgrounds for farmers to gather while he also thanked the gardaí for their help.

West Cork farmers in Cork Central also took part in protests in Co Cork, with protests in Ballincollig, Ballinhassig, Blarney, Carrigtwohill, Mitchelstown, and even Cork city itself, with a large convoy of tractors travelling down Patrick Street and other main thoroughfares on Thursday night.

The protests were agreed by the IFA’s national council to support farmers in Germany, France, Belgium, and other member states.

Jonathan Readman, David Readman and Adam Nicholson all from Rossmore at the show of solidarity in Clonakilty. (Photo: Martin Walsh)


‘Farmers here have been watching the protests across Europe. They are just as frustrated by what is happening as farmers in other countries. They feel they are being regulated out of business by Brussels bureaucrats and Department of Agriculture officials who are far removed from the reality of day-to-day farming,’ IFA president Francie Gorman said.

‘Irish farmers are pro-EU, but there is mounting frustration about the impact of EU policy on European farmers, and its implementation here in Ireland. The general feeling amongst farmers across the EU is that ‘enough is enough’,’ he said.

Meanwhile IFA representatives are due to have a meeting with Tánaiste Micheál Martin and government representatives to highlight their issues.

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