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Farmers ‘will not be made fools’, vows creamery boss

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The Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA) has warned that “farmers will not be made fools of” as it prepares to engage with the Government over the Climate Action Plan.

ICMSA president Pat McCormack said farmers and rural communities feel they have been “singled out” by the media and some vested interests and made to “carry the carbon can”.

“Ireland is to dairy and beef what California is to tech,” he said.

It was wrong to ask farmers to foot additional costs when the very people making the request were conducting trade deals with countries “that have no intention of addressing climate change”.

Mr McCormack said farmers will engage constructively but will not allow their communities to be undermined.

“The level of ignorance displayed by many in the national media and from ‘activists’ about farming has been profoundly shocking,” he said.

“What is especially infuriating is the knowledge that, yet again, other sectors seem to escape any similar levels of scrutiny or analysis.”

He said Ireland was “not just potentially damaging ourselves nationally for no good reason, but we are actually limiting ourselves in the single area in which we could have helped deal with a global problem”.

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Bringing up the 2020 general election result, he said the trend of rural Ireland moving away from Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael toward independents and Sinn Féin could continue if the Government did not listen to its concerns.

“Political parties are in a period of transition and this issue could escalate that transition,” he said.

“Farmers are responsible for a third of the emissions, but we are taking 99pc of the blame. We need to see other sectors step up to the plate.”

His comments come as the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) told members and their families to gather in the capital a fortnight from today.

Its president, Tim Cullinan, said the organisation chose to protest on a Sunday “to limit disruption” to the people of Dublin, who “are well disposed toward the farming community”.

The gathering on November 21 will coincide with the Ireland-Argentina rugby international and comes at a time when city traders are hoping to win back Christmas shoppers.


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