Opinion: the irresistible force versus the immovable object
Pat O'Toole
While the European Commission is an all-powerful machine at the heart of the EU, used to telling everyone what to do, farmers are now telling them to take a step back.
3 February 2024 Opinion
Opinion: farmers' fellowship of the ring-roads sends clear message
While the slogan of Thursday's IFA tractor demonstration was 'enough is enough', it was the Boomtown Rats, not Donna Summer and Barbra Streisand in Pat O'Toole's head.
20 January 2024 Opinion
Opinion: farmers, like the faithful, face the fear of the unknown
Watching The Traitors, a penny has dropped, writes Pat O'Toole. We exist in a constant state of uncertainty when we can't see all the pieces on the board.
Opinion: quick guide to the European Parliament
The European Parliament has its own party groupings and an extensive committee structure. Here's a quick guide to its workings.
17 January 2024 Opinion
Opinion: farming will be affected by 2024's many elections
With elections due this year in Ireland, the UK, the US and the EU, it will be hard to keep up with all the shenanigans, predicts Pat O'Toole.
6 January 2024 Opinion
Opinion: farm leaders deserve all our gratitude
The current changing of the guard in the IFA and the ICMSA sees some end decades of service to their fellow farmers, part of the wide range of volunteerism that underpins Irish life.
16 December 2023 Opinion
Opinion: Arthur sees no Camelot for dairy farmers
The IFA dairy chair cuts a frustrated figure, and wants those who have been offering hope to farmers in recent weeks to explain themselves.
26 November 2023 Opinion
Opinion: the IFA presidential election deserves your involvement
If you haven't heard the IFA presidential candidates, it hasn't been from the lack of opportunity. Next Monday provides one last chance, writes Pat O'Toole.
4 November 2023 Opinion
Opinion: Commissioner gives dairy farmers that Sinkevicius feeling
The decision taken by the European Commission that will reduce stocking rates on (mostly) dairy farms is unlikely to be reversed or even delayed. So what are we to do?
10 September 2023 Opinion
Opinion: the new constituencies - a short(ish) guide
With 14 new TDs and a bunch of new constituencies, Pat O'Toole looks at all the changes, most of which restore county boundaries, and considers the prospects in the next general election.
2 September 2023 Opinion
Opinion: banning sheep off stubbles would have consequences
The decision to require a grass lie-back area for livestock grazing cover crops has a much more profound implication - sheep are no longer allowed to graze stubbles.
27 August 2023 Opinion