John Curran from Kells in Co Meath is the new chair of the IFA National Rural Development Committee.
He succeeds Michael Biggins who has completed his four-year term.
John Curran will take up his role at the 69th AGM next Tues. He thanked Michael Biggins for his commitment and work on behalf of farmers.
He said one of his immediate priorities would be ACRES. “All farmers who applied under Tranche 2 of ACRES must be accommodated. We cannot be limited to 50,000. We either want to achieve our environmental targets or we don’t. The Department also need to realise that many low-income families, particularly those in vulnerable sectors, rely on agri-environment programmes to survive,” he said.
On the broader issue of payments, John Curran said there cannot be a repeat of what happened last year, with unilateral Department action and delayed ANC/BISS farm payments, or even no payments at all for the 18,000 plus ACRES CP farmers. It’s completely unacceptable and no other sector would accept it.
“The same is true with TAMS, which was a complete non-event in 2023. The thousands of farmers around the country who made applications for TAMS last Spring have to know where they stand,” he said.
“Farmers cannot be at the mercy of Department inefficiencies. They need to get real, make direct and proactive contact with farmers and farm representatives, in good time, to let them know where they stand. There is just too much at stake,” he concluded.