It sometimes feels in Macra that we are saying the same thing over and over again and people are not listening.

Macra has been in existence for the last 80 years, it was established with a view to sharing agricultural advances to promote food production at the height of the Emergency.

I have lost count of the number of times I have heard and read Macra Presidents say “follow the research” or “follow the science”, yet these statements seem to fall on deaf ears.

We call for action, we watch our members march 79 kilometres from Athy to the Dail to show the depth of our feeling, from there we meet the Taoiseach and the Ministers for Agriculture, what results from this: column inches and blisters.

Instead of following where the scientific research directs us, we instead seem to go in whatever direction the next election cycle takes us.

What happens when we follow the science, you do not have to go too far in the past to work that out.

I hate to bring it up again, however – COVID-19 hit and what did we do, we followed the science, we did not attempt to follow pseudo-scientific clap trap as is still being peddled by the flat earth society, we followed the science.

Yes, it was uncomfortable, it was lonely for some and it was inconvenient and it saved lives, it allowed us to come out of that time to a strong, healthy country.

It would have been easy to copy our neighbours with their claims that “herd immunity” will follow, we didn’t and it worked.

When Covid hit, our then Minister for Health, now our Taoiseach, followed the science. I want to take this opportunity to ask him to do the same again.

A difficult crossroads

We are at a difficult crossroads.

We saw in the last few weeks a report by the EPA highlighting how there has been no improvement in our water quality, we have also seen the passing of the Nature Restoration Law, I have no doubt that these are the tip of the iceberg in relation to the challenges facing us as a nation.

An answer and perhaps the only real answer to the issues that are coming at us hard and fast is research and science; that will lead the way.

Macra calls on the Taoiseach in the run up to the next budget to try something different, follow the science.