IFA branches in Louth, Longford, Offaly, Kilkenny and Clare took part in protests outside county council buildings over the last week as part of the IFA’s latest campaign of action.

Over the next number of weeks, all county IFA branches are set to hold protests outside county council buildings ahead of local and European elections this June.

Farmers gathered in Tullamore on Monday morning ahead of Offaly County Council’s February meeting.

Offaly IFA county chair, Pat Carroll, said that the council came out and met the delegation of farmers ahead of their meeting and was very attentive to what concerns they had.

Economic benefit

“We initially detailed quite substantially the benefit of agriculture to the county of Offaly. It contributes €1bn to the local economy. There are 306,000ac in the county with an average farm size of 69ac.

“Over 7,000 people are directly and indirectly impacted by agriculture and over 12% of the population are also employed in the sector.”

The issues outlined to the council, Carroll said, included delayed payments, the lack of response on TAMS applications, losses in the Shannon Callows, ash dieback, retaining the derogation and the nature restoration law.

“The nature restoration law, which is working its way through the parliament in Europe at the minute, cannot be used as another weapon to decrease land use and deprive us of having a family farm and making an income.

“Also, if the derogation dropped further to 220kg N/ha, the affect it would have on livestock numbers in the county would be huge.

“We will do everything in our power to improve climate, but not at the expense of the family farm and not at the expense of food,” he said.

Eight tractors and 50 farmers lined out in Tullamore for this protest.


Speaking to the Irish Farmers Journal, Louth county chair John Carroll said that over 50 farmers and a dozen tractors turned up on Monday morning for the protests at Louth County Council buildings.

Similar issues as those outlined in Tullamore were raised.

Counties Kilkenny and Clare also met county councils this week to highlight their concerns and frustrations.

In Clare, the meeting mainly focused on the major programme of Greenway developments planned, as well as flooding around Lough Donnell and developments for the Cliffs of Moher.

Meanwhile, last Wednesday week, Longford IFA met outside county council offices, where they were invited into the chamber to talk to councillors.

According to county chair, John Sheridan, the delegation were given 15 minutes to outline their concerns, which “were taken on board”.