Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has called on the Irish Government to use their influence on the European Council to push for an Irish derogation regarding cuts to CAP.
The Ireland South MEP was speaking after meeting with ICSA (Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association) General Secretary Eddie Punch and National Treasurer Dan Lynam in Brussels today.
“I had a constructive meeting with the ICSA today,” she said.
“It’s clear that we share many of the same concerns, particularly around CAP, Brexit and, crucially, the Government’s approach to both these issues.
“CAP is being threatened with a cut of up to 16% which will have a devastating effect on Irish farmers and given the EU’s own acknowledgement that Ireland is in a uniquely difficult position as a result of Brexit and stands to lose the most from it I think we are in a justifiable position to push for an Irish derogation from any cut to try and negate some of those negative effects.
“The Irish Government is in the best position to push this request forward through their position on the European Council but as we’ve seen they are loathe to make any sort of waves in Europe.
“An industry wide campaign, bringing together all farming bodies with the support of political parties to bring pressure on the Government in order to force them to stand up for Irish farmers my be the only thing that will make them move on this issue.
“It’s quite clear, especially given today’s revelation that just 0.3% of the available LEADER Programme funding has been successfully accessed by communities, that this government is not going to do anything for rural Ireland or Irish farmers unless they are pushed.”