Sligo Irish Farmers Association (IFA) will host a debate with the Sligo, Leitrim, north Roscommon and south Donegal election candidates in the Sligo Park Hotel on Wednesday 29 January at 8.30pm.

“All farmers are invited to the debate. This is their chance to get their questions asked,” said IFA Sligo county chair Kathleen Henry.

“We have invited 19 election candidates across all the parties to join us on the night, to which 12 have so far accepted.”

Range of topics

It is expected that farmers will have questions covering a range of topics for the candidates, including CAP negotiations, suckler farming, Brexit, fair-deal and calls for a new farmer support scheme.

“We would like to see a new scheme that is properly resourced, something in line with the old REPS scheme,” said Henry.

All our county chairs have been invited

She added that she would like to see as many farmers there as possible to ask the tough questions and get their voices heard.

“All our county chairs have been invited, as well as local Macra groups - we want everyone represented.”

Electoral candidates will include Marc MacSharry (FF), Thomas Walsh (FG), Martin Kenny (SF), Nessa Cosgrove (Labour), Bláithín Gallagher (Green) and James Conway (Independent). Former MEP Marian Harkin will be in attendance.

“We’re hoping to see a big turnout on the night and hopefully we’ll get a minister, if not, a junior minister [at] it,” said Henry.

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