Macra na Feirme has recently released its positions to both improve the quality of life for those working and living in rural Ireland and to outline the importance of a clear vision for the environmental elements of the next CAP. All documents can be viewed in full at

The green route: a future for rural transport

The Rural Transport document focuses on reducing the dependence on private car use and investment into the bus and train infrastructure.

Reducing rural Ireland’s dependence on private car use

  • Increased the availability of work from home opportunities through the rollout of rural broadband.
  • Increased flexibility around work and options to avoid commuting through targeted business reliefs.
  • The provision of free travel on all public transport for those under 25.
  • Development of EV charging infrastructure in close proximity to public transport services.
  • Bus and train infrastructure

  • An increase in the allocated budget for public transport.
  • An increase of €5m to the provision of Local Link service.
  • Investment to return and upgrade bus stops along rural routes.
  • Investment in phases 2 and 3 of the western rail corridor.
  • Investment supports for businesses utilising rail freight.
  • Rural online: the future of work in rural Ireland

    The future of work document encourages the development and revitalisation of rural communities. The document’s aim is to promote more remote working opportunities in rural Ireland, improve access to education and therefore ensure a viable pool of skilled employees are based in rural Ireland to encourage the development of SMEs. The document focuses on three issues that Macra na Feirme believes will be vitally important to workers across Ireland:

  • Broadband in Ireland: high-speed broadband available to all homes throughout Ireland and upgrading the current mobile network to 5G nationwide.
  • Rural working hubs: Access to rural working hubs in each rural town and village to enable those working remotely access to social and technical facilities.
  • Work-life balance: To recognise the integrity of all employees and their right to a healthy and sustainable work-life balance. To ensure residents of rural areas have access to sustainable, fulfilling work which provides a living wage.
  • Lean and green: Macra na Feirme’s vision on the green architecture of CAP post-2023

    The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform is currently being negotiated in trilogue meetings between the European Parliament, Commission and Council. The green architecture includes the basic conditionality applied to all farms in receipt of CAP funds, the nature of multi-annual environmental schemes, along with the new addition of eco schemes, which a percentage of annual payments must be assigned to.

    Macra na Feirme has laid out its four guiding principles of all new environmental interventions:

  • Inclusive and accessible.
  • Progressive.
  • Results-based.
  • Complementary.
  • Macra na Feirme suggested eco schemes include:

  • Habitat protection on designated lands.
  • Hedgerow protection and improvement.
  • Watercourse buffer zone/riparian margins.
  • Field margins (tillage).
  • Milk recording schemes.
  • Improved beef efficiency schemes.
  • Soil conservation schemes.