Danny Healy-Rae has been dubbed “Kerry’s Sarah Palin” in the Dáil after refusing to acknowledge climate change.
Speaking last night, Mr Healy-Rae said: “I do not agree with all the talk of climate change” adding that he believes “God above is in charge of the weather and we cannot do anything about it”.
His comments came during a discussion on climate change and sparked anger among a number of TDs. Newly elected Independent Catherine Connolly commented that “unfortunately Kerry’s Deputy Palin Healy-Rae has left the chamber” as he made his way out as the debate continued.
Alan Kelly told the Dáil that climate change will result in “more frequent weather events” such as the severe floods experienced last winter.
Green Party leader Eamon Ryan said: “There is sometimes a misunderstanding or misperception that sees a hostility or natural divide between environmental and farming movements when the opposite is the case.”
Simon Coveney also warned Brexit would pose “highly significant challenges” for Ireland’s €5.1bn agricultural exports to Britain.
Mr Coveney told the Dáil that the past 12 months have been a “very challenging time” adding that farmers and fishermen face more potential difficulties this year.
However, many on the opposition benches criticised the outgoing government for “leaving behind a legacy of neglect of the vulnerable sectors” and only focusing on big farmers.
On the implications of Brexit Mr Coveney said: “The figures speak for themselves as the UK is by far the largest trading partner for Ireland.”
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