Farm Ireland
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Monday 18 February 2019

Leo can eat what he likes, but he needs to be a Taoiseach of all Ireland, not just Dublin - Joe Healy

IFA President Joe Healy addresses the organisations 64th AGM at the Farm Centre in Dublin, where he said make or break decisions are imminent for our farming and food sector. Picture: Finbarr O'Rourke.
IFA President Joe Healy addresses the organisations 64th AGM at the Farm Centre in Dublin, where he said make or break decisions are imminent for our farming and food sector. Picture: Finbarr O'Rourke.
Margaret Donnelly

Margaret Donnelly

The Taoiseach can eat what he wants, but he must be a Taoiseach for all of Ireland, not just Dublin, according to IFA President Joe Healy.

He told the Association's AGM today in Dublin that farmers farmers have come under attack from all angles.

"Of course, the Taoiseach can eat what he likes, but as the leader of a country which relies so heavily on our agri sector, we expect him to be more supportive of our top-quality products."

"We were annoyed and disappointed with his recent comments about meat. He needs to remember he is the Taoiseach for all of Ireland, not just Dublin," Healy said.

The Taoiseach is joining the IFA this evening and Healy said he expects to hear a strong commitment from him on the CAP Budget.

"Farmers will judge the Taoiseach on how he delivers on this and other key issues."

Healy also said that people are entitled to eat what they want, but they are not entitled to spread misinformation, fear and falsehoods about farming and the food we produce.

"Since the dawn of civilisation human beings have lived on a balanced diet of meat, dairy, cereals and vegetables. Life expectancy in the countries who can afford meat in their diets has been increasing.

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"Yet, we are bombarded with reports and fad diets designed by quacks masquerading as ‘nutritional experts’.

"The former US President Dwight D Eisenhower said ‘farming looks mighty easy when your plough is a pencil and you’re a thousand miles from the cornfield’.

"The quote is perhaps even more apt today, except it’s a keyboard rather than a pencil. 

Farmers in Ireland are being told that we should give up producing meat and milk and instead produce fruit and nuts!

"Well I can tell people we won’t be getting rid of our livestock. We produce the best food in the world, naturally, from animals grazing in fields. 

"And I am certain that in years to come people will be glad Ireland stayed doing what we are good at, because our food will be needed.

"We won’t be driven off the land by keyboard warriors, quacks or lifestyle gurus."

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