The message from Tim Cullinan was simple and stark: “I want a phone call [from the Taoiseach or Minister for Agriculture] in the next day or so, indicating that they are going to sit down with ourselves as farm leaders to negotiate a plan, and negotiate how they’re going to fund that plan.

“At a minimum, we need a plan for the next 10 years,” the IFA president told Sunday’s Save Irish Farming protest in Merrion Square. If the phone call from Micheál Martin doesn’t come, Cullinan warned: “He will know we’re around, and we’ll be in town until we do get proper negotiations from them.”

The decision to downscale the day of action from a mass demonstration to a representative tractorcade meant this message was delivered to a couple of hundred people, half of whom had arrived into the city centre on tractors.

The day was fresh, sunny and cold, the mood was good, but that message may point to some very tough days ahead.

The issues identified by Cullinan, and by any farmer present, were CAP, climate and galloping input inflation.

The demand for more measures for eco schemes is likely to be heeded, but the call to halve the level of eco schemes and find new money for suckler and ewe payments will prove more problematic.

Next steps

The IFA has delivered an ultimatum. The Government’s response will determine the next steps.