independent

Sunday 22 July 2018

Emotions run high as fodder crisis hits hard

Farmers' emotional fodder crisis video gets massive response, writes Brendan Keane

Bannow farmer James White
Bannow farmer James White

A farmers from Bannow, in South County Wexford, has come to national attention after posting a video on his Facebook page thanking people who responded to an initial video he posted highlighting his plight, and that of his colleagues within the farming community, as a result of the fodder shortage in the country.

Mattie White posted his second video on Thursday and within hours it had attracted almost 140,000 views through various social media platforms; his initial video had over 183,000 views by yesterday.

In the second clip a clearly emotional Mr White expresses regret at what he describes as the failure of the Government to provide the type of help needed.

Saying the farming community had been badly let down by the Government Mr White said he was putting the video up as a personal appeal, however, he also paid tribute to the people who had responded to his initial post and for the kindness shown to him and his family.

'I am coming on hear now to say a massive thank you for the kindness that's been shown to me in the calls, the offers of help, and messages of support from everybody both in the non-farming community and the farming community,' he said,

'I won't deny it, you have definitely given me a lift today,' he added.

He highlighted that he had received several offers of feed and that he had ''hopefully' sourced enough for himself at the moment.

'With regard to those other offers that have been made to me, I know of other men who would probably be very glad of them and I will be making enquiries as to whether they would be willing to take them or not over the next couple of days,' he said.

Mr White reminded people about the significant gesture displayed by the Native American, Choctaw people, during the Irish Famine.

'They sent, what in today's [terms] would be a substantial amount of aid from the far side of the Atlantic, to help people here,' he said.

'When I think about that and [then] I consider the fact the people in this country, in our own Government, can't be a**ed to get out into their cars and go and visit farmers to see just how much trouble we are going through,' he added.

Getting visibly emotional Mr White reiterated his praise for neighbours, friends and everyone who offered support and shared his post. He also referred to a minority of people who appeared judgemental in their reaction to his initial post and said; 'Before you judge us, before you judge me as a farmer, and you judge my problems at the moment, come to my yard and talk to me. I'm not a monster; I'm just man.'

With tears in his eyes he said it was with pride and gratitude that he was making the video in appreciation of the people who had offered support.

'I thought good old Ireland was gone but it's not.' he said.

'It's truly alive and well.'

Mr White said it's important for people to understand that when the crisis ends they would know everyone got through it together as a community.

'That's what matters,' he said.

'The fact that we took our hands out of our pockets, took our phones out of our pockets, and cared and shared for each other.'

He described Ireland as a fantastic country to live in with a 'fantastic population of people' known for their charity and willingness to help others in need.

'That has been proven to me,' he said.

'If ever I can help anyone, please don't hesitate to get in touch with me. Thanks for all your help, kind words and offers, God bless you all and may he keep you all safe.'

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