'Some farmers were in St John of God hospital after the winter we had'
Wexford farmers endured serious mental health issues during the fodder crisis leading to at least two being hospitalised, Cllr Pip Breen told a recent crisis meeting in the county.
"I know some farmers who were up in St John of God psychiatric hospital after the winter we had," Cllr Breen told the meeting.
"We are in a crisis. Our biggest problem is that there are four million people in the country and we produce enough for 35m. With Brexit it is putting our products below cost.
"There is residual debt with co-ops, financial, institutions etc that will take years to clear. Minister Creed was totally asleep at the wheel during the crisis. He said if they had stock they should have been feeding them but farmers were under ferocious pressure."
Cllr Breen said Wexford farmers helped farmers in the west and ended up short of fodder.
"We are producing the best food in the world and we are not getting paid for it," he added.
Cllr Michael Sheehan said attracting young people into farming needs to be a priority. He said numerous solar farms are planned for the county, including a 500-acre farm in Clongeen.
"I am opposed to this as it turns land into nothing but a giant mirror."