Farmers won’t tolerate being made the environmental ‘whipping boys’

February 4th, 2020 11:22 PM

By Southern Star Team

ICMSA President Pat McCormack pictured with An Taoiseach Leo Varadker in Adare, Co Limerick. Pic: Don Moloney

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FARMERS accept the reality of climate change and accept the need for change, but the ICMSA says they reject absolutely the idea that farmers alone will have to change their way of life.

That’s according to ICMSA president, Pat McCormack, who said their ‘Guide to General Election 2020’ is being delivered to every candidate standing in a rural constituency. He recently met Leo Varadkar in Adare where he handed over a copy of the document which is subtitled ‘The Questions That Farmers Need Answered.’

Mr McCormack said it was obvious on which two issues the farmer and broader rural vote might depend.

‘That’s the relentless pressure on farmer income and farmer margin which has been and remains the central point. Last year saw unprecedented and costly disruption in the sector – our biggest indigenous economic sector – as farmers broke under the pressure of producing particularly beef for prices that were less than their costs of production. We have farmers across all sectors receiving the same prices as their parents received 30 years ago. We don’t want sympathy anymore. We want fair prices. Politicians who go to farmers’ yards and doors are going to be told that forcefully and straight out,’ said Mr McCormack.

‘The second issue is the constant attack on their livelihoods and the economic viability of rural Ireland by the most aggressive and arrogant elements of the environmental movement. Farmers accept the reality of climate change but we reject absolutely the idea that farmers alone will have to change their way of life. Every part of society will have to contribute,’ said the ICMSA president.

Mr McCormack said farmers will not tolerate a campaign where they are made the ‘whipping boys’ for anyone’s pet projects or concerns.

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