“We are tired of being scapegoated by European bureaucrats and politicians”

The scenes on Kenyon Street, Nenagh for the IFA rally. Photo: Tipp FM.

Farmers have made their way through two Tipperary towns today as part of a nationwide IFA rally over CAP reforms and climate action arrangements.

Farmers and others involved in the agri sector gathered in 30 towns, including Nenagh and Cahir.

The IFA is concerned about the direction of negotiations on the new Common Agricultural Policy, and they also claim there’s a lack of acknowledgement and respect towards farming efforts on climate change.

North Tipp IFA Chairperson, Imelda Walsh, had this to say about the CAP negotiations:

“We are tired of being scapegoated by European bureaucrats and politicians in relation to the Common Agricultural Policy. The CAP has completely lost its identity from what it was set up to do, and that was to provide cheap, safe food, produced in a sustainable way.

“We are now, as farmers, running to stand still. We are seeing all our budgets being cut from Europe.”

Among those to gather in Nenagh was Aglish farmer Andrew Harding, who switched to dairying four years ago.

He says there needs to be greater acknowledgment of what farmers do for the environment:

“Farmers are willing to be environmentally friendly, it’s in our interests. We’re working in the environment every day of the week, and we’re looking after the environment.

“If we don’t look after the environment, the environment won’t look after us in terms of hedgerows and things like that. We have to look after things like that, whether we get paid or not. But they’re asking us to do more, and get nothing for doing it.”