DEAR EDITOR: I wish to respond to the article in the Irish Farmers Journal, dated 30 March, headlined “Diageo brewery plan at the mercy of the planning system”.

In my role as IFA national grain chair, I speak with and meet a large number of tillage farmers at IFA grain committee meetings all over the country.

It is very clear to me that the views of John Lynch and his objections towards the planning of the Diageo brewery in Newbridge, do not in any shape or form represent the views of Irish tillage farmers. The tillage sector is currently facing a hugely difficult growing season both from a weather and a financial position, with relentless rainfall since July 2023. And I believe that a thriving and growing malting barley industry, and brewing, will play a key role in securing the survival of the tillage sector in Ireland.

I strongly believe that Mr Lynch’s objection to the brewery in Newbridge could jeopardise the much needed expansion of the Boortmalt plant in Athy, which would be a real missed opportunity for Irish tillage farmers.