CAP talks – ‘Huge fear Minister is at sea’: McGrath

‘Farm organizations hugely concerned’

Sligo News File

“I cannot emphasise enough the problems for the agriculture sector in this country,” said Deputy Mattie McGrath during Leader’s Question in the Dail on Thursday.

Deputy Mattie McGrath, TD


Addressing the Tanaiste Leo Varadkar, he said: “Everybody – even city people – is only a generation away from this sector. The Tánaiste’s family farm is down in Dungarvan.

“The importance of the talks at present under CAP is vital and there is a huge fear out there that the Minister, Deputy McConalogue, is at sea.

“We have been devastated in fisheries with Brexit. We cannot allow the big factory farmers and the conglomerates to dictate policy.

“The Tánaiste stated earlier in a reply that family farms are vital. Family farms are barely hanging on and they need a fair deal under this CAP. What is happening in other European countries seems to be a whole lot different from what is happening here.

“I met with the Irish Farmers Association, IFA, and other farm organisations. They are hugely concerned about the convergence, about the issues involved in CAP, and that the Minister may have stopped the talks. The Minister needs to be on top of his game here, and the Department too. We need a good strong position on CAP for Irish farmers.

Varadkar said the importance of the outcome of the talks “cannot be underestimated for rural Ireland and for our farmers and our food industry. They are ongoing and I am limited in what I can say.

“Perhaps the best thing might be, if he is available, is for the Minister to come before the House when we resume in a few days’ time and give a briefing and take questions on it.”