The new leader of Fine Gael Simon Harris has given a commitment that the party will continue to back rural Ireland and the agriculture sector at a meeting with Fine Gael's agriculture forum.

The group met this week with the new Fine Gael leader.

Speaking following the meeting, chair and former president of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) Eddie Downey said: “This was a very constructive meeting and demonstrates that Minister Harris and Fine Gael are committed to the agriculture sector and rural Ireland.

“After 18 months of meetings and consultation, we are now ready to bring a policy document together.

“This document will reflect the views of the forum and the wider membership of the party, the public and elected members on issues relating to rural Ireland and the farming and food sectors.


“We will have a farming and food session at our upcoming Ard Fheis this Saturday, where these issues can be developed.

“I expect that climate action, farm succession, our food security will all be up for discussion.”

Minister Harris said farming is one of the policy areas he intends to focus on as Fine Gael leader.

“Farming makes a vital contribution to our economy and local communities. Farmers have had an incredibly difficult year this year because of the weather and this was an important opportunity to hear from them.

“It is now essential we gather that information and take concrete steps to address the concerns of this vital part of our economy and society.”