IFA Treasurer joins Presidential race and attacks Government on environmental credentials

Tim Cullinan.Pic Arthur Ellis.
Tim Cullinan.Pic Arthur Ellis.

Martin Ryan

A 'fighting' IFA presidential candidate has thrown down a challenge to the government on the expected multi-billion pay out on carbon costs/fines as the leadership election campaign moves into gear.

Tipperary's Tim Cullinan accused the government of "wanting farmers to save the world" on environmental changes while diverting billions of potential support out of the country.

Speaking at the declaration of his candidacy before an overflow attendance at the Parish Hall, Toomevara on Friday night he called for a logical state approach on carbon policy.

"If they (Government) are going to spend €5bn between now and 2030 either buying carbon credits or paying a fine what I am saying  in the next round of CAP reform  they'd be better off giving that money to farmers" he declared.

He said that farmers have been told that the next CAP will be all about the environment but "the CAP was put there to save people's lives but we know that the payments are getting lower all of the time".

"What I am saying is if we are going to blow €5bn on buying carbon credits or paying a fine, definitely part of that needs to be channelled to farmers" he told the strong farmer turnout.

The attendance included former IFA Chief Executive, Michael Berkery, and former President, John Dillon as well as many stalwarts of IFA in the region from the past, farmer co-op and agri business leaders at the North Tipperary IFA Executive meeting chaired by Imelda Walsh.

Cullinan declared that he is prepared to "go to war" with processors, retailers, government or the EU, responsible for putting farmers on the breadline.

He committed that the grid system costing beef farmers €30m per year as it now stands has to go, and warned hands off by the Beef-barons on the €100m Brexit Fund.

“The assault on farming is coming from all quarters. We’re not taking it. It’s unacceptable and it’s grossly unfair. The IFA  must stand up for farmers. That’s our job" he declared.

IFA Livestock chairman, Angus Woods (Wicklow) has already declared for the presidential election and Munster Chair, John Coughlan is expected to join them this week.

Three candidates are lining up to contest the election for Deputy President, Brian Rushe (Kildare), Padaig Joyce (Mayo) and Thomas Cooney (Cavan).

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