Mixed Irish response to EU farming aid package

The EU agricultural aid package announced, this week, in Brussels by Commissioner Phil Hogan must support farm incomes, leaders of the Irish Farmers Association and the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association have insisted.

IFA president Joe Healy said Agriculture Minister Michael Creed must optimise the value of Ireland’s €11.1m share of the funds announced. 

The minister must provide national matching funding and use this to reduce the cost of short-term borrowing for farmers in all sectors.

Mr Healy said he IFA has proposed a State-Aid backed loan package allowing farmers to deal with merchant credit, superlevy and other bills. The EU package could be used to enhance the proposed loan scheme and must be delivered urgently, he said. 

Sean O’Leary, IFA Dairy Committee chairman, said a fast rising number of dairy farmers are struggling to meet their daily family needs, never mind pay business bills.

ICMSA president John Comer said the success or failure of the EU package will depend on its delivery of an increased milk price. 

It is essential the Government fully matches the package that Ireland had received and that these funds are used to support dairy farmers in an extremely difficult period, he said.

Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers Association president Patrick Kent questioned the granting of a further rescue package for dairy farmers while beef farmers continue to seek fair play for their own sector.

“We are simply looking for equal treatment for the beef sector. However, yet again we are seeing aid flooding to the dairy sector,” he said.


Is there are science to back up some of the folklore we have grown up with?Appliance of Science: If a cow sits down does that mean it will rain?

This time last year Whiddy Island in West Cork was bustling with people who had caught the ferry for the short trip from Bantry to ramble the island’s boreens as part of the Bantry Walking Festival. Not so this year.Islands of Ireland: Whiddy in the same boat

Gomera is always replete with stories to tell, and this week is no exception.Damien Enright: Merciless predation on the beaches of Gomera

Denis Summers-Smith, the sparrow expert, died on the 5th of May last at the age of 99.Richard Collins: Adaptable sparrow — the ultimate home bird

More From The Irish Examiner