Connacht IFA Vice-President Padraic Divilly led a delegation of farm families to meet Labour Party Chairman Colm Keaveney TD in Galway, to convey the anger among farmers over the false and inflammatory statements he has made concerning farmers’ eligibility for third level grants.
Mr. Divilly said, “Deputy Keaveney has belatedly acknowledged that the system of third level grants expressly states that farmers cannot use capital allowances or other investments in plant and machinery to reduce their income for grant eligibility purposes. Farmers feel rightly aggrieved that they have been accused of using these allowances, when in fact they cannot write off any part of an investment against income. We are looking for support from Deputy Keaveney to change this situation as part of any review of the qualifying rules for maintenance grants”.
“Unfortunately, Deputy Keaveney is persisting with his campaign of misinformation on other issues relating to the calculation of farmers’ income. Like any other group in society, farm families should have access to 3rd-level education. Any changes that the Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn introduces must not place any more barriers to 3rd-level for children from farm families.”
Concluding, Padraic Divilly said, “The efforts to divide farmers on this issue are equally disgraceful. We made the point very strongly to Deputy Keaveney that we expect any comments he makes on this issue in the future are based on facts”.