Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) Cork branch is to hold a protest on Friday morning in Carrigaline from 11am over the lack of flexibility on Ireland’s nitrates derogation.

Farmers will march down the main street in Carrigaline with cows, stopping at Minister for Enterprise Simon Coveney’s office and then at Minister for Finance Michael McGrath’s office.

Cork central IFA chair Conor O’Leary said that the livestock will then be reboxed and the protest will head for Cork city.

“We’ll travel to the city, have our protest outside Micheál Martin’s office,” he said.

'Give us time'

“The whole time of the protest should span from 11am until about 3pm. The ask here is for some time to let us calve down these pregnant cows and give us time to logistically, and in a planned way, get them off farm.

“We can’t have the mental anguish that farmers are dealing with at the moment. We need a short phase-in period,” he said.

The protest comes after two tense IFA meetings were held in Cork on Sunday and Monday nights, where frustrated dairy farmers highlighted that had not been given enough time to comply with the new derogation rules for 2024.