IFA demands immediate nitrates discussion as debate remains secret
Published 12/10/2010 | 05:00
Frustrated IFA officials have sought an urgent meeting with the Department of Agriculture in an effort to extract information on the nitrates negotiations.
Talks between the Department of Agriculture, the Department of the Environment and officials in Brussels have been cloaked in secrecy for the past few weeks.
Pat Farrell, the IFA's environment chairman, has blasted the tight-lipped approach of the Department of Agriculture, describing it as "entirely unacceptable" that Brendan Smith had not issued any statement outlining the recommendations of the Government-appointed Nitrates Review Group.
The current negotiations are expected to finish by the next meeting of the Nitrates Action Committee in Brussels, which has been scheduled for the end of next month.
However, officials from the agriculture and environment departments have refused to provide any further details on the issue.
A spokesperson for the Department of Agriculture would only say that discussions were ongoing and negotiations were expected to be finalised in late November.
Officials in Minister John Gormley's Environment department were also reticent on the subject.