IFA has not yet contacted National Hill Chairman Flór McCarthy regarding “potential breaches” of conduct rules that may have occurred via a protest outside IFA headquarters last month.
At its national council meeting on June 22 — the first gathering of the governing group since Mr McCarthy and Derek Deane protested over the farm body’s approach to CAP reform — senior officials warned the Kenmare farmer that their challenge may prove problematic for his position.
However, speaking to the Farming Independent, Mr McCarthy said he has received “no further communication” from the rules committee despite being told he would “get word in writing”.
“I’ve heard nothing from them yet, not a word,” he said. “I’m surprised. I thought they would have come to meet me. If I was an opposition group, they would have met me long ago.
“I’m available to talk at any stage; I actually want to talk to them. The only reason they’re not contacting me is because they don’t have a leg to stand on — they will have to explain their position on CAP if they meet me.
“I’m 25 years active in IFA and 40 years a member, it wasn’t yesterday I came on the scene. I know how the real world works and if they could shut me down, they’d have it done long ago.”
With Agriculture Minister Charlie McConalogue due to discuss the CAP outcome with IFA’s national council tomorrow, Mr McCarthy believes he won’t be the only one “feeling the heat”.
“IFA still don’t seem to be worried about the sheep and suckler farmer at all. I think they are in dispute among themselves over the coupling issue — it’s not all rosy in the camp,” he said. “I’m not the only representative in the country feeling the heat from the deal — there are a lot more getting it too.”
In a statement after last month’s national council meeting, IFA reiterated that its position on CAP reform was developed by its CAP project team.
“Any member who wishes to make a policy proposal within IFA can do so through their county executive or through a national committee,” it stated.