Major farming event on the threat from Brexit

April 8th, 2017 8:05 AM

By Southern Star Team

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WEST Cork farmers are being urged to attend a major conference later this month about the many issues which affect Irish farming at the present time. 

There is little doubt that the greatest threat facing the future of the industry is the looming withdrawal of Britain from the EU. The possibility of being cut off from our traditional market by the imposition of large tariffs is a frightening prospect, which must now be considered by everyone involved in the agricultural industry.

The issue of a shortfall in funding for the various schemes financed from Brussels by the Common Agricultural Policy, as a consequence of British withdrawal, is an added fear facing farmers. These are extremely daunting prospects, even before considering the possible disruptions to trade where many exports to other countries now pass through Britain, not to mention the nightmare scenario which could become a reality on the border between the Republic and Northern Ireland.

To consider the possible implications of Brexit for Irish farming and to prepare for the upcoming negotiations, the IFA has organised a major event to be held at Goffs, Kill, Co Kildare, on Monday, April 24th. The event will feature an extremely impressive array of speakers.

Following registration at 10am, the programme for the day will be introduced by the new IFA director general, Damian McDonald, to be followed by an address by the EU Commissioner for Agriculture, Phil Hogan. IFA president, Joe Healy, will then outline the crucial points for Irish farmers in the negotiations. 

A panel discussion, chaired by Damien O’Reilly of RTÉ, will feature Mairead McGuiness, First Vice-President of the European Parliament; Martin Merrild, President of the European farmers’ organisation COPA; Rowena Dwyer, IFA chief economist; Barclay Bell, president of the Ulster Farmers’ Union, and Gavin Barrett, Professor of European Law at UCD.

Proceedings will resume after lunch with a message from Fiona Muldoon, the CEO of FBD Insurance, followed by an address by the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, TD. Another panel discussion, chaired by Justin McCarthy, editor of the Irish Farmers Journal, will feature Niall Browne, CEO of Dawn Meats; Kevin Lane, CEO of Ornua Dairy Board; Tara McCarthy, CEO of Bord Bia; Sean O’Leary, IFA Dairy chairman, and Angus Woods, IFA Livestock chairman.

IFA president, Joe Healy, will wind up proceedings at 4.30pm when he will sum up the key points which will have been highlighted throughout the day. 

The entire day’s events are free to IFA members, while there is a charge of €50 for non-members. 

Everyone in West Cork who has an interest in attending should contact any of the following: Corney Buckley, chairman of West Cork IFA on 086-2776673; Gerard Burke, PRO West Cork IFA on 087-6765653 or the Cork IFA Office on 021-4545944 as soon as possible.


•  Meanwhile, the monthly meeting of West Cork IFA will take place in the Parkway Hotel, Dunmanway, on Tuesday next, April 11th, at 8.30pm. Representatives of FBD Insurance are due to address the meeting,

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