Farmers call off 'sit in' after meeting promised with Department
The ‘sit in’ by farmers at the Department of Agriculture office at Nenagh was called off late last night following the intervention of a senior officer of the Department who travelled to the North Tipperary capital to meet with the IFA members on the protest.
Tim Cullinane, Chairman, Tipperary North IFA, has confirmed to FarmIreland.ie that arrangements are now in place for a top level meeting next week on the issues of ‘over diligent’ farm inspections, which they allege farmers in the area were being subjected to for a number of years past.
“Our concerns are now going to be discussed at a high level to get fair play for the farmers in the area – and that meeting is to take place within a week – that is all that we were looking for – fair play for farmers – because what was going on was not acceptable and could not continue to be tolerated”, he said.
The breakthrough came late on Thursday evening – as 10 farmers were preparing for a round the clock sit in at the offices – when a senior inspector from the Department of Agriculture travelled to Nenagh and had a 20 minute meeting with the protesting farmers during which they explained their concerns and were given assurance of a formal meeting within a week to discuss their grievances in depth with the objective of more clarity and fair play for all.
Tim Cullinane said that as IFA Chairman in the region he was not prepared to allow the regime to which some farmers were being subjected to, to continue.
“I have heard of one case where an inspector arrived on a farm on the day of a funeral out of the house and insisted in going ahead with the inspection. That is unacceptable to me,” he said.
Several requests had been made by IFA over recent months for a meeting with the senior inspector of the area to discuss the ongoing situation, but the association had met with a blunt refusal and we felt that we were left with no option other than the protest to bring the matter to a head”, said Mr Cullinane today.
The North Tipperary IFA Chairman said that the treatment of Tipperary farmers on area aid inspections was not acceptable and can no longer be tolerated.