Ireland is set to receive over €1bn (25%) of the European Union’s Brexit fund this year.
Speaking as the news broke, Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said: “It’s a big recognition that Ireland is disrupted by far the most from Brexit.”
He said the Government has been “lobbying pretty hard for this” during a Teams call on the north Tipperary IFA AGM.
The funds are part of the Brexit Adjustment Reserve, which is worth a total of €5.4bn up until 2024, with different amounts going to other countries depending on the impact Brexit has on them.
A total of €4.2bn will be released this year and €1.05bn of that will be received by Ireland.
Now it's up to us to actually justify that money by putting a package together
“What we've got is over a billion euros of the initial form ... I think it's a good outcome,” the minister said.
“So, that has to be now supported by the European Parliament and the Council.”
The minister added that while he expected part of the fund to go to fishing, that it was now up to farm organisations, including the IFA, to put forward the case for Irish farmers to receive a share.
“Now it's up to us to actually justify that money by putting a package together which certainly isn't all going to be allocated to agriculture or fishing. But both agriculture and the agri-food industry will certainly be part of that plan.”
North Tipperary IFA chair Imelda Walsh thanked the minister for the “scoop of the year” and for spending almost two hours answering the questions of some of the 120 farmers on the call.
She also thanked Senator Garret Ahearn and IFA president Tim Cullinan for their input.
The minister said the he always “loves talking to farmers” and that it was a good change from the usual business meetings he was faced with.