The Green Party will invariably generate plenty of heat at farmers’ meetings, even on the coldest of nights.

In fact, if Eamon Ryan’s disciples went to enough agri-sector gatherings, it might even be worth recycling the energy.

This trend continued in Mitchelstown last week, I understand, when sparks flew at a farmer meeting which was addressed by a number of speakers including Green Party activist Bernadette Connolly.

West Cork resident Connolly didn’t pull her punches in her address.

She told those present that since direct CAP payments were funded by Europe they were in fact taxpayer money.

She followed that up by registering her opposition to live exports, and then cautioned farmers against portraying themselves as the injured party in the climate change battle.

The real victims were those people losing their homes and livelihoods to rising sea levels, she maintained.

Her comments provoked the ire of a number of farmers present, one of whom accused the Green Party of peddling “Utopian fantasies”.

To her credit, however, Connolly stood her ground.