MEP Liadh Ní Riada has said the huge drop in farm incomes this year was the depressingly predictable result of Government indifference and inaction.
The Ireland South MEP was responding to a report from Teagasc which revealed farm incomes were down between 15% and 22% this year.
“Trying to talk to this Government about rural Ireland is like talking to the wall,” she said.
“This time last year rural communities warned the Government, farming organisations warned the Government and Sinn Féin warned the Government that unless something was done to address the tillage crisis the problem would be twice as bad next year.
“We called for a crisis fund for farmers, we called for a suspension of tariffs on fertilizer, we called for direct payments to be protected and we called for the Government to address the volatility of the agricultural sector in the Budget.
“Sure enough, nothing of substance was done and the Government kicked the can down the road for another year and now we’re seeing the depressingly predictable result of their head-in-the-sand approach to rural Ireland, with already struggling farmers seeing their income drop by a devastating 15%.
“Meanwhile vulture funds are circling overhead looking to scoop up family farms and sell them on to the first bidder with no regard for the homes, livelihoods or traditions they are destroying.
“Were it not for this Government’s long illustrated inability to organise anything you would be forgiven for thinking the havoc they were wreaking on rural Ireland was part of an orchestrated campaign.
“Sadly it seems to be just another case of An Taoiseach’s infamous indifference to anything happening outside the Dublin bubble.”