The Government is “absolutely committed” to rural Ireland, an Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said in the wake of the Macra protest march to Dublin on Wednesday.

The Taoiseach, along with Minister Charlie McConalogue, Minister of State Martin Heydon and Minister of State Pippa Hackett, held what he described as a “positive and constructive meeting” with members of Macra on Wednesday afternoon.

The Taoiseach thanked the group for the work that they do and listened to their suggestions and proposals, which included a farm succession scheme with paid incentives for older farmers to retire.

The Macra group were told about the “unprecedented investment in rural Ireland in recent times”, including the €1bn Rural Regeneration Fund and the €3bn national broadband plan.

The Government quartet assured Macra members that they want to ensure that rural Ireland is an attractive place for young people to live, work, farm and raise a family.

The issue of the definition of a family farm was discussed, while a commitment was made that the Government will engage with the delegation again by the end of the summer.

You can watch and read all about the events of the last 24 hours in the Irish Farmers Journal’s live blog from the 79km protest march.

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