Independent TD for Laois-Offaly Carol Nolan has said that farmers in her constituency are "extremely angry" over a letter which was sent to bank CEOs lobbying against lending to young farmers.

Deputy Nolan was speaking following the letter sent by Green Party MEP Ciaran Cuffe to Bank of Ireland, which has been condemned as "wrong" by Tánaiste Leo Varadkar.

The Tánaiste is the latest high-level member of Government to condemn the letter, Nolan said.

She has said that Green Party TDs and senators must comprehensively and robustly distance themselves from any policy position which would see young farmers denied access to vital financial aid.

Angry farmers

“In the last week or so, I have been contacted by many farmers in Laois-Offaly who remain extremely angry at the position adopted by this Green Party MEP.

“For them, and indeed for myself, it reveals an incomprehensible level of arrogant over-reach into the lives of young farmers," Nolan said.

Nolan highlighted the view that many people already have around the Green Party and how this action worsens it.

She said: "It also exposes the great fear that many people have around the Greens, namely that no matter what they say in public about ‘voluntary diversification’ of farm practices, the reality is that they are more than happy, behind the scenes, to strong-arm young farmers using the institutional muscle of the pillar banks."

Nolan said that it is an open secret in Dáil Éireann that the other Government parties are increasingly resentful of the policy dominance of the Greens.

"The fact that it continues is merely an indication of their unwillingness to counter it, which in turn makes them complicit in actions like those of Mr Cuffe.

"In that sense, the acknowledgement by the Tánaiste that Mr Cuffe’s actions were ‘wrong’ only amount to a statement of the obvious," she said.

Coercive pressure on young farmer

Nolan argued that the Green Party must make it clear that it does not support coercive pressure being applied on young farmers, either directly or indirectly.

"Failure to do that will only confirm that the party is not really serious about respecting young farmers who are vital to the sector's survival,” Deputy Nolan concluded.