BY KIERAN O’MAHONY
A COUNTY councillor has called the EU-Mercosur trade deal an ‘act of treason against Irish farmers’ and has called on the government to fully oppose and veto the deal which would see 99,000 tonnes of beef from South American countries flood the EU market.
Councillor William O’Leary (FF) made the call at a meeting of the local authority this week.
‘It will be devastating for all farmers but will be the final nail in the coffin for the beef and suckler sectors,’ said Cllr O’Leary.‘They’ve sold us out, the EU, they have sold out Irish farmers and it’s the most hypocritical deal I’ve ever seen and it’s an act of treason against the Irish farmers.’He called on the Government to protect the interests of Irish farmers or at least defer the decision until Brexit and said Phil Hogan, as EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development has not only left himself down but also his country down.
Cllr Bernard Moynihan (FF) said this deal was a further ‘kick in the teeth for rural Ireland’ and that it was ‘beyond belief’ that this deal has been made.
Cllr John O’Sullivan (FG) said this deal as presented can and will be a disaster for beef farming all over Europe.
‘The reality here is that we have a serious crisis on our hands and the sucker and beef farmer will not survive Brexit no to mind taking on this deal,’ said Cllr O’Sullivan.
‘This has implications for standards and for supply and for rural Ireland and this is not a good deal for beef farmers.’
Cllr Danny Collins (Ind) said he honestly believes Minister Creed is not capable of being in charge of two briefs and added that Phil Hogan is ‘making a boo-boo’ of beef farmers like he did with Irish Water.
‘This is a disgrace and the Irish farmer has been left down by both Minister Creed and Commissioner Hogan,’ said Cllr Collins.
Meanwhile, a bus load of farmers from West Cork took part in the Beef Plan protest on Wednesday bringing the issue to the steps of Dáil Éireann.