West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Future of rural Ireland depends on strong network of family farms - Sean Donnelly

Published: 6 May, 2014

Sinn Féin Councillor Sean Donnelly said that the future of rural Ireland depends on a strong network of family farms.

Councillor Donnelly said:

"We often refer to agriculture and rural Ireland as being the backbone of our country and in these times of austerity policies by Europe, by Fine Gael and Labour and the British Tories, this has never been truer.

"The future of rural Ireland depends on a strong network of family farms. The development of a thriving agriculture sector needs farmers. Farmers who are confident and supported in their work both by central government and by Europe.

"Proposed CAP changes have repercussions for Irish farmers and Sinn Féin will try to ensure that those in the most disadvantaged areas are not only protected but encouraged and incentivised to continue farming.

"Historically CAP has favoured a small minority of recipients who received the lion's share of the Single Farm Payment without having any greater productivity than those on lower payments. Sinn Féin supports the re-establishment of the principles of CAP: food security and fair prices.

"We need a better deal for all of rural Ireland. It is vital therefore that implementation of the new CAP regime includes a significant redistribution of funds towards the majority of farmers, many of whom are struggling to maintain a viable income. I also welcome Minister Michelle O'Neill's intention to increase the number of people entitled to Single Farm Payments. This is an important step in redressing the imbalance that currently exists.

"Sinn Féin will stand up for Ireland's interest in Europe and defend the right of small family farms to earn a decent living."