Farmers are set to have a battle on their hands to carve out the largest portion of the billion-euro Brexit fund.

Sectors such as tourism and trade are already vying for a share and all eyes will be on Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue, expecting him to represent farmer interests at the Cabinet table.

Ireland has secured €1.05bn (25%) of the €4.2bn Brexit Adjustment Reserve from the EU to help mitigate Brexit disruption this year, with another €1.1bn promised by 2024.

Minister McConalogue welcomed the fund and said he would work to ensure farm incomes were protected.

“I stand ready to support our farmers should any market disruption occur in the weeks and months ahead,” the minister told the Irish Farmers Journal.

However, his Cabinet colleague Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney, who helped to secure the funds, warned that the money would not be accessible to farmers without some strings attached.

Speaking at the north Tipperary IFA AGM on Tuesday night, Minister Coveney said that it could not be “pretend money”.