Proposal to airlift calves for export 'delusional' - Woods

Tim Cullinan
Tim Cullinan
Angus Woods

Flying calves out of Shannon Airport and live streaming of IFA meetings were two of the most ear-catching topics discussed at the recent Cork hustings.

Presidential candidate Tim Cullinan's suggestion that calves could be flown out of Shannon on days when live export boats were not going got a mixed reaction from the floor, with one farmer on the floor saying it was "ludicrous".

"We almost had a crisis last year. We need a proper structure. There is concern with the weather if boats can't go, but Shannon Airport is there. We could fly calves out, that's another option," said Mr Cullinan.

His rival John Coughlan agreed, saying: "We need every way of getting cattle out of this country, whether it's live, dead, on ships, lorries or planes, anything that would work we need to use it."

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Angus Woods
Angus Woods

However, the third candidate, Angus Woods (above), said flying calves "wouldn't work", explaining that the IFA had investigated the idea fully last year.

"Export of cattle is not simple, anybody who thinks it is delusional," said Mr Woods.

Both Coughlan and Woods advocated the introduction of live streaming of IFA meetings to ensure increased transparency to members.

"We need transparency, if we had cameras in National Council the ordinary member could go online and see exactly who is debating the issues, who is raising your issues - did they say what they said they were going to do?" said Mr Woods.

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"Cameras are a necessity, minutes should be made publicly available so you as a member can know exactly what's happening, because one of the problems we have at the moment is the messaging isn't getting back to the ordinary members."

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