Cork farmers gathered from all directions to convene in a tractor protest at Cork Airport on Monday morning.

The latest instalment of the ongoing nationwide IFA campaign saw farmers gather at Little Island, Angler’s Rest and Five Mile Bridge before travelling in convoy to Cork Airport.

Speaking ahead of the protest, Alan Jagoe, a member of the IFA dairy committee, said the protest was aimed at highlighting the hypocrisy of policy.

“Dublin Airport is looking to expand by 25%, whereas Irish farmers are being asked to reduce emissions by 25%,” he said.

“Dublin Airport says it going to create economic impact in Ireland by growing sustainably, but there is no recognition of the economic impact of family farms in rural Ireland,” Jagoe said.

“Dublin Airport says it can grow sustainably by sourcing alternative fuels from biofuels produced by farmers but if dairy farmers, livestock farmers, use the same crops, we are said to be [greenhouse gas] emitters. The hypocrisy in policy is ridiculous.

"This is not anti-aviation, we’re all for more economic activity in the country but our only indigenous industry should not be sacrificed to enable this,” he said.


Speaking to the Irish Farmers Journal, Matt Hurley, Cork central IFA chair said farmers are very frustrated and angry at the moment. He has fielded a lot of calls from farmers since the recent Enough is Enough protest that took place in Cork city as well as other venues around the country.

“There’s a lot of disappointment that there was little coverage of it across the national media. Their sentiment is that their concerns aren’t being taken seriously. Farmers are beyond frustrated at this stage. They’re fairly angry and the last protest seems to have whetted their appetite for more.

"Derogation is huge down here as everyone is affected, the late payments too. Even the complications of the schemes. There’s so much work in them and everyone seems to be paid except the person who does the works. That’s feeding into the anger at the moment.

"Dublin Airport Authority is looking to increase by 25% and farmers are being asked to cut emissions by 25%. It’s like Government is prioritising flights over food. Which seems like a strange idea.”

IFA environment chair John Murphy said farmers feel they are being unfairly targeted when it comes to water quality.

“There's not enough consideration being given to other pressures on water quality. That frustrated farmers in derogation last year.

“It wasn't until the CAP debacle and the late payments that there was more upheaval. Farmers are just not getting a fair shake of the dice.

“The EU seem to be wanting to reduce local production and allow food produced to different standards in.

“They're in the process of dismantling the CAP for commercial farmers and they're diverting that into environmental measures,” he said.

Travel advisory

Cork Aiport issued a travel advisory, urging passengers and commuters approaching the airport to allow extra time for their journey between 7am and 11am.

The IFA tractor protest will move from the airport to City Hall to protest outside a meeting of Cork County Council at 11am.

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