Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Agriculture, Éamon Ó Cuív TD, has urged the Minister for Agriculture to pay heed to the warnings by the IFA today regarding negotiations on the new CAP.

Deputy Ó Cuív was speaking after the IFA President today accused the Minister of failing to protect farmers at the cabinet table.

“Minister Coveney has an opportunity now to use Ireland’s influence as President of the European Union to negotiate for a fairer CAP for Irish farmers,” said Deputy Ó Cuív.

“It is hugely important that Minister Coveney fights for Ireland and for our farmers.

“I am also calling on the Taoiseach to ensure that under the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) there is a fair deal for Ireland under Pillar 1 and Pillar 2 payments.  There has been a particular attack on Pillar 2 payments but it is now imperative that Ireland stands its ground and protects Irish farmers.

“Farm incomes in Ireland were down 10% this year, whereas in Europe yields were up. This is largely due to the terrible summer weather-wise we had. The budget then saw the abolishment of the Suckler Cow Welfare Scheme; cuts to the Disadvantaged Area Scheme (DAS) and changes to Farm Assist, which could see farmers lose as much as €2,000 in a year.

“Farmers have had enough and deserve more from the Minister, we saw today how much frustration and anger there is. The next couple of months will be vital for Ireland in terms of CAP. The Minister needs to pay heed to the comments from the IFA and do more to help Irish farmers.”