1.15pm: Farmer views on CAP and climate

Duncan Harper, Cape Clear Island, Co Cork.

“We're supporting [the protest] because CAP will affect the middle and small income farmers majorly. They're robbing out of one pocket to serve the bigger farmers.

“The environmental impact is important to farming, but it can't be taken out of their pockets as well.”

Eoin Brady, Castleboy, Galway

"We're here today protesting all about the CAP changes, which are just completely unfair. This is not realistic, we're not going to survive. It's a simple as that."

Dermott Ward, Meath grain chairman:

"Meath farmers are trying to highlight the issues in the CAP negotiations by hosting this protest. We are facing up to a 40% cut on payments across the board.

This will have huge implications for farming up to 2030 and beyond. We are hoping this protest will create further support from the rest of the community."

Ger O'Mahony, Sheep's head Co Cork.

“I'm farming on the Sheep's Head peninsula and there are a lot of small farm holdings there. I suppose if we're restricted even more, it won't be viable to keep farming there.

“I'm a young farmer and I want to see a future in farming, so the minister has to take that on board and get the right set of standards for us.”

Dennis Brennan, Branganstown Co Louth

“Payment entitlements have lost value and further cuts to them will limit production. Western farmers may gain, but they may lose because weanling buyers will be less able, due to reduced incomes on more intensive farms.”

Des Carroll, Dunleer, Co Louth

“I’m here today to stand up for small farmers and keep them going. They are being eroded away and there will be nothing for next generation. Farming is very important for local business in this area.”

Michael Kennedy, Nenagh, Co Tipperary

“Farming is the main industry in our town, we're standing here in Central Auctions mart next door to Arrabawn Co-op. We need to support the rural economy. Agriculture is the mainstay of towns like Nenagh.”

Henry Burns, Portloaise, Co Laois

“What’s brought me out is the cuts in CAP. Those of us that farm livestock, sheep and tillage were decimated with the CAP the last time. The cuts that have come home to roost are severally affecting our income. The proposals there would basically halve the payment in a lot of farms around here.

“The message for the minister is simple. If you want to keep active farming in all parts of the country going, you have to reject the proposals that are on the table in Brussels.”

12.45pm: Politicians share farmer concerns on Climate Bill

Fianna Fáil TD and chair of the Oireachtas agriculture committee Jackie Cahill

“My stand on the Climate Bill is yes, we have to accept there has to be change, we have to have sustainable agriculture, but it has to be sustainable economically as well.

“Whatever is done in the Climate Bill, it has to be economically proofed, that farmers here are allowed to produce. We are the most sustainable producers of food in the world and it makes no sense to curtail our production and have carbon leakage to other parts of the world.

“I will be insisting on that – that farmers can farm and farm sustainably when this Climate Bill goes through the Dáil.”

Rural Independent TD Michael Collins

“The Climate Action Bill is going through the Dáil, which my independent group and myself have raised serious, serious concerns over. We have a number of amendments put forward and they’ve been rejected one by one. These amendments would protect and safeguard Irish farming.”

Fianna Fáil TD Chris O’Sullivan

“I think their point is very clear. I’m for climate action, farmers are for climate action but they can’t be expected to do more with less pay.

“I think the key to this is, number one, our CAP discussions, and the message I’ll be bringing back to Minister McConalogue is we need to fight hard to ensure our farmers aren’t out of money in CAP reform.

“But second to that is the programme for government has committed to €1.5bn for agri-environment schemes. We really need to listen to farmers today. There’s protests happening right across Ireland and we need to listen and ensure that money goes back into making farming viable.”

Independent TD Denis Naughten

Friday 12.30pm: Rallies continue across the northeast

The IFA’s regional rallies are continuing, with a strong turnout across the northeast in counties Meath, Cavan and Louth.

Friday 12.15pm: No standoff or protest in Leitrim IFA, says county chair

There is no protest or standoff between Leitrim IFA and the wider organisation, Leitrim IFA chair Des McHugh has said.

Manorhamilton, Co Leitrim, had been included on the list of rural towns where a rally would take place. However, no rally was held there on Friday.

Speaking to the Irish Farmers Journal, McHugh said there was a vibrant executive in the county which remained part of the bigger IFA family, with a number of members holding roles in other areas of the organisation.

He said there had been a feeling that there were enough sites across Connaught and that one was not necessarily required in every county.

“There’s not a standoff or a protest,” McHugh said. “There is a bit of discontentment alright and there’s a big job of work to ensure there is optimal supports for farmers in this area of the country.”

“We have work to do within our county. We need to create a system that will leave more vibrancy in farms as opposed to allowing afforestation to take over.”

Friday 11.45am: Cairns calls for greater transparency in CAP talks

Social Democrats TD Holly Cairns has called for greater transparency in CAP talks. Cairns attended the IFA rally in Skibbereen Co Cork.

She told the Irish Farmers Journal: “As a newly elected TD, I was very surprised to see how little scrutiny there is in relation to what our minister is pushing for on CAP negotiations. No Dáil time was allocated for discussion around this.

“I think we need more transparency, more openness, as to what’s actually going on over in Europe.”

Friday 11.30am: Tractors hit the road across the country

After gathering together across the country, farmers and their tractors are on the road heading into 31 rural towns to highlight the importance of agriculture.

Tractors and combines departing Carnaross mart Co Meath, destined for Kells.

Follow @farmersjournal on Twitter for full updates.

Friday 10.50am: In their own words – farmers here to say “enough is enough”

Imelda Walsh, North Tipperary IFA chair at the IFA's protest in Nenagh.

Imelda Walsh - North Tipperary IFA chair:

“We're here to say enough is enough, we need to stand up for farming. We're in solidarity with agribusinesses in Nenagh. Almost 55 years ago, Rickard Deasy walked to Dublin to stand up for farmers rights and it's a sad indictment that we're here again today doing the same thing.”

Jim Mulhall Kilkenny IFA chair at Cillin Hill on Friday.

Jim Mulhall - Kilkenny IFA chair: “The purpose of this is to raise awareness to the general public of the importance of agriculture to the local economy. Kilkenny is very much an agricultural service-based economy, so we’re just trying to highlight to all the general public the importance of agriculture.”

Anne Mitchell – Galway IFA chair: “We’re here to make a statement, to inform Government, politicians and the EU that we cannot sustain how things are. If the CAP proposals go through in their current format and the Climate Action Bill, farmers will be out of business.”

Elizabeth Orminston – Cavan IFA chair: “Convergence, eco schemes, and redistribution – they’re all convergence under one name. It’s going to have diabolical effects on farmers in the county, the consequences are unthinkable. If Government and EU don’t stand up and help us, we’ll be defunct and if we go to the wall, the rural towns will go with us."

Friday 10.40am: Tractors assembling across the country

Farmers have begun to assemble with their tractors at sites across the country ahead of the IFA’s nationwide rally.

The Irish Farmers Journal is reporting live from a number of rallies, including those in Galway and Kilkenny.

Friday 10.30am: Farmers out to send a clear message – Cullinan

IFA president Tim Cullinan has said farmers are out to send a clear message to the Government, Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue and the European Commission.

The IFA has three messages it wants to send, Cullinan told the Irish Farmers Journal.

“The first one is obviously the value of our sector, our industry. Agriculture is a huge sector in rural Ireland, very important in the towns and villages up and down the country,” Cullinan said.

“Where CAP reform is at the moment, if we don’t get a proper deal, it’s a huge threat to our sector. Obviously, the Climate Action Bill is a huge threat to the sector as well.

“That’s why we’re out this morning. We want to send a clear message to everybody that we’re not going away."

Friday 10am: why are farmers taking to the streets?

IFA officers and farmers are holding a tractor rally at 11am today, Friday 11 June, in 31 county towns.

Farmers will gather in selected towns nationwide and will drive tractors around the town.

The rally is to showcase the importance of farming to the rural economy and to highlight the IFA’s concerns around imminent decisions on CAP reform and the Climate Action Bill.

The towns

The list of county towns where rallies will be held:

Munster: Bandon, Kanturk, Midleton, Mitchelstown, Skibbereen, Tralee, Newcastlewest, Nenagh, Cahir and Dungarvan.

Leinster: Swords, Naas, Portlaoise, Longford town, Castlebellingham, Kells, Tullamore, Mullingar, Enniscorthy and Bray.

Connaught: Ennis, Athenry, Manorhamilton, Ballina, Castlerea and Ballymote.

Ulster: Cavan town, Raphoe and Monaghan town.