The Irish Wildlife Trust (IWT) has edited a controversial article on its website which accused farm organisations of “lurching to the far right”.
The blog post, written by IWT campaign officer Padraic Fogarty, has now been stripped of all references to the far right.
The Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) wrote to the IWT following its publication, requesting that it be removed immediately and describing the far right reference as “completely unacceptable”.
The Irish Farmers Journal understands that the IWT told the IFA it would not remove the article, but instead had chosen to remove political references which could be perceived as divisive.
The term far right is generally used to describe people or organisations who have extreme nationalist, xenophobic, racist, religious fundamentalist or other reactionary views.
The IFA told the Irish Farmers Journal that it had “noted the intervention by the board of Irish Wildlife Trust, following correspondence from [the] IFA, to remove certain defamatory comments made by their campaigns officer Pádraic Fogarty”.
“We are seeking a meeting with the board of IWT to discuss the article and why it was allowed to remain in the public domain for almost a week,” it said in a statement on Friday night.
“Much of what remains of the article is still extremely divisive and is, sadly, typical of the general approach taken by Mr Fogarty.”
Nature restoration law
In reference to the IFA’s opposition the draft nature restoration law, the IFA said: “Irish farmland is a significant reservoir of biodiversity with on average 12% to 14% of farms providing space for nature. This is higher than the EU average.
“The IFA campaign in relation to the nature restoration law was based on the fact that it was poorly constructed. There was no impact assessment carried out on the likely consequences of the law for EU citizens.
“The proposed law was well intentioned, but poorly drafted, a fact recognised by member states and the [European] Parliament, which made significant amendments to the proposed legislation.”