Speaking after a meeting with the Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald, IFA President Eddie Downey said he welcomed the Minister’s commitment to look more closely at the proposal to provide greater certainty to the legal status of pre-nuptial agreements.
Mr Downey said, “The uncertainty surrounding the legal recognition of pre-nuptial agreements, in the event of marriage breakdown, is a real issue which is impacting negatively on the timely lifetime transfer of the family farm”.
He said, “IFA is supportive of measures that can remove barriers to family farm transfer, and I emphasised to the Minister that allaying the fears of parents would be an important supporting mechanism to facilitate the orderly transfer of the family farm. This is in line with other key policy measures required to address issues such as income security. This includes include IFA’s priority taxation proposal for this year’s budget, which would provide an incentive, through the taxation system for parents and children to farm in partnership together, prior to the lifetime transfer of the family farm”.
He continued, “IFA is clear that pre-nuptial agreements are a matter for individual families, but believes that the main recommendations of the Study Group on Pre-nuptial agreements (2007) should be implemented by the Government as part of its reform programme for family law. This would require the courts to have regard to existing pre-nuptial agreements when making judgments in judicial separation and divorce proceedings”.
Eddie Downey also raised the issue of rural security and the need for an increased mobile Garda presence in rural Ireland. He said IFA is working closely with Garda Siochana in developing services to assist in the fight against rural theft and crime.