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On Friday 31st January 2020, An Garda Síochána, IFA and a number of other partners  are inviting local community members to an informal, hour long ‘meet and greet’ at over 300 venues across Ireland. It is an opportunity for over 800 communities to get to know their local Gardaí and community representatives.

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Opening the IFA Climate event in Dublin today, IFA President Joe Healy said the agri-food sector stands ready to respond and is actively engaged in climate action.

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Michael Biggins has been elected as the new Chairman of the IFA National Rural Development Committee at a meeting in Dublin this week.

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The IFA is hosting an important half-day event on Tues, Jan 21st to rebalance the debate around climate action.

Entitled ‘Climate Action in Agriculture – A Balanced Approach’, the event will feature one of the foremost experts in the world on the important role of farming in the climate debate, Dr. Frank Mitloehner from UC Davis, California who will balance, with scientific evidence, the discussion about the contribution of agriculture to the climate challenge.

Other speakers include Prof. John Fitzgerald, Chair of the Climate Change Advisory Council, and Dr. Frank O’Mara of Teagasc.

Speaking in advance of the event, IFA President, Joe Healy said, “Farmers are tired of being kicked around and scapegoated when it comes to climate action”.

“The lack of balance in the debate is very frustrating for Irish farmers, given the high standards we adhere to and the quality of the food we produce. For example, 90% of Ireland’s beef exports are now in an audit and carbon foot printing programme and 100% of milk production is completing a carbon auditing cycle. This is unique – we are the only country in the world that measures, monitors and manages carbon from farm to fork. Yet we are constantly being pilloried for not doing enough.”

The IFA President said, “We hope that this event will help in re-balancing what is currently a very one-sided debate”.

IFA President, Joe Healy has written to Minister Jim Daly to request an urgent meeting on the status of the Nursing Home Support Scheme (Amendment) Bill.

“The Government approved the proposal to introduce a three-year cap on productive assets where a family member commits to working the asset in July 2018. However, 18 months later we are still waiting for the Bill to be drafted,” said the IFA President.

He said the Bill must be published as a matter of urgency and introduced in the Oireachtas during this session.

Caroline Farrell, Farm Family & Social Affairs Chair said that farm families have been waiting too long for this amendment and with each passing month the viability of family farms is being undermined.

“The Government must give a commitment to back date the proposed three-year cap to July 2018 when it was approved by the Government and agree to pay back contributions to the cost of care to all farmers that satisfy the three-year cap as of that date.”

She said that farm families must not be financially penalised as a result of delays in the legislative drafting process.


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