Nitrates Derogation

Farmers Being Used as Pawns in Political Game – IFA President

IFA President Tim Cullinan said that Taoiseach Leo Varadkar needs to honour his commitment to get Commissioner Sinkevicius to Ireland as soon as possible on the Nitrates issue.

“There has obviously been a backlash in Fianna Fáil over the intervention of the Taoiseach and farmers are now becoming pawns in a political game,” he said.

“On Friday at our meeting in Limerick, the Taoiseach and his delegation heard directly from farmers the devastating effect a reduction in the nitrates limit from 250kg to 220kg would have on their business and he agreed to bring the Commissioner to Ireland,” he said.

“While everybody at the meeting on Friday recognised the challenge in trying to retain the 250kg limit for the entire country, there was a clear commitment to try and convince the Commissioner that he should look at the issue again. It was never the case that the meeting was solely about what happen after January 1st, 2026,” he said.

“Since then, the issue has become a political football. Instead of getting behind the Taoiseach’s initiative, the Minister has been trying to undermine it. It is time to stop the party politics and to sit down the Commissioner to make the best possible case to retain the 250kg in the mid-term review and beyond,” he said.

Tim Cullinan said that he spoke to Commissioner Sinkevicius in Brussels this morning on the margins of the Council of Ministers meeting. The Commissioner said he was keen to travel to Ireland and he is awaiting the invitation from the Taoiseach.

“The Commissioner understands the challenges that reducing the derogation limit would bring about in Ireland. It is time to stop the spinning and the briefing and get around the table with the Commissioner,” he said.

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