By Ray Ryan, Agribusiness Correspondent
TEAGASC announced last night that a scheduled meeting due to be held at Oak Park in Carlow today, has been postponed.
A motion of no confidence in Teagasc director Jim Flanagan, over the nitrates issue, was submitted last Friday for consideration at the meeting. It was signed by two members of the authority.
Teagasc said chairman Dr Tom O’Dwyer, had decided to postpone today’s meeting to allow proper legal procedure to be followed.
A statement said the Teagasc meeting will be reconvened at a later date, allowing the proposers to state their case and the Teagasc director an opportunity to respond.
Ruaidhri Deasy, the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) Teagasc representative, said he believed a substantial majority would have supported his vote of no confidence in the director at today’s meeting.
He accused the chairman of taking unilateral action in calling off the meeting and repeated his call for the director to step aside in the best interests of Teagasc.
Mr Deasy said he would be pushing for this to happen in the coming days so Teagasc could rebuild its credibility and restore the confidence of farmers and the food industry.
Meanwhile, regulations governing the nitrates directive, which aims to protect water from agricultural pollution, came into effect today, with one exception.
Environment Minister Dick Roche has deferred a section of the regulations dealing with phosphate limits pending the provision and analysis of additional scientific information from Teagasc.
Fine Gael agriculture spokesman Denis Naughten said the Government should postpone all elements of the action plan until it completes a comprehensive public information campaign to inform farmers about compliance with the new rules.