Fine Gael’s Pat Deering has accused Fianna Fáil of continuing to offer populist criticism with no solutions in regards to the challenges facing Irish agriculture.
Deering, who chairs the Oireachtas agriculture committee, added that in the turbulent times surrounding Brexit it was reassuring to see “that some things never change”.
The Carlow-Kilkenny TD made the remarks in response to criticism from Fianna Fáil’s spokesperson for agriculture Charlie McConalogue on the Government’s response to live export delays.
Yesterday, McConalogue said an additional 400 calf spaces made available in Cherbourg which were welcomed by the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed did not go far enough.
Deering fired back saying: “Fianna Fáil’s only agriculture policy seems to be to criticise the Minister and we see that yet again this week, even though extra lairage space has been secured in Cherbourg.”
McConalogue was called on to reveal Fianna Fáil’s big plan for agriculture and advised to brush up on how the supply chain works.
“Charlie McConalogue seems to be missing the point of the work the Department of Agriculture is doing and how it fits into the export process,” said Deering.
“Exporters need to work together here and be honest with farmers.”
He said a ship had been offered by the Purcell brothers with capacity for 4,000 calves. However, according to Deering exporters had been holding back resulting in a detrimental effect on the prices of calves and dairy stock.
It was amazing, he said, that McConalogue had not encouraged exporters to use this service so that farmers could get the advantage of the facility being offered.
Calls for more lairage space for calf exports
Extra French calf lairage spaces still not enough