Clinton calls for new round of debt deals
Farmers in financial strife over off-farm investments have been advised to make a settlement with their bank.
Former IFA president Tom Clinton told a Positive Farmers' conference in Limerick that settlements had to be made in the 1980s and needed to be made again.
However, he said this time banks had also contributed to the problem and had to recognise there had been a lot of "bad lending" as well as "bad borrowing".
He said banks should hold interest rates at levels the borrower could afford or suspend them as part of a settlement.
"The worst possible response is to blame others, including banks, the price of milk, cattle, grain etc, and fight. This gets you nowhere," he said.
Mr Clinton defended those who had organised the Positive Farmers' conferences over the last few years. This followed comments that poor advice on off-farm investments had been given to farmers.
Referring to Cork dairy farmer Michael Murphy, who has been active in the planning of the conferences, Mr Clinton said he was someone who had always pushed the boundaries and had worked not only for himself but for other farmers.