IFA president Francie Gorman has wished Taoiseach Leo Varadkar well after Wednesday’s announcement that he would be standing down as Taoiseach and Fine Gael party leader.

Gorman said he had found Leo Varadkar to be open and accessible to discussions about what was needed to support farmers as part of the development of our largest indigenous sector.

“Leo Varadkar attended our AGM in January in the Irish Farm Centre and was willing to engage with our delegates. We had a lengthy meeting with him in recent weeks and we felt we were genuinely making progress on some issues,” he said.

Gorman added that the biggest issue that faced Leo Varadkar when he became Taoiseach in 2017 was the outcome of the Brexit vote a year earlier.

Trading relationship

“That vote had huge ramifications for our agri-food sector and our trading relationship with Great Britain. Leo Varadkar understood that and kept our concerns front and centre in the prolonged talks that culminated in the trade agreement in 2020,” he said.

“Whatever he decides to do next, I want to thank him for his contribution and to wish him well in his next role,” he concluded.