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Farmers blocking the A63 highway in France. Alamy Stock Photo

Irish farmers to hold rallies today in solidarity with protests by EU counterparts

Farmers have held largescale protests across Europe this past month, including in France, Germany and Belgium.


IRISH FARMERS WILL hold rallies expressing solidarity with their European counterparts tonight, on foot of major protests seen across the continent in recent days. 

The country’s largest farmers organisation has agreed to hold the action in protest against European Union regulations of the industry.

It comes as farmers have held largescale protests across Europe, including in France, Germany and Belgium.

Farmers’ blockades on motorways around Paris have intensified in recent days, with The Journal hearing this week from some of those unhappy with rising costs, carbon-cutting targets and fuel prices.

Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) president Francie Gorman said farmers here had taken notice of their counterparts’ moves in recent weeks.

“They are just as frustrated by what is happening as farmers in other countries. They feel they are being regulated out of business by Brussels bureaucrats and Department of Agriculture officials who are far removed from the reality of day-to-day farming,” he said in a statement.

This evening, through the IFA’s local branches across the country, rallies will be held to show solidarity with farmers who are protesting in EU member states.

Gorman insisted that “Irish farmers are pro-EU”, but added that there is mounting frustration about the “impact of EU policy” on European farmers, and its implementation here in Ireland.

“The general feeling amongst farmers across the EU is that ‘enough is enough’,” he said.

Irish farming is facing change with the reduction in Ireland’s nitrates derogation, which became a political row for the Government last year.

Ireland is one of three EU countries with the derogation, which allows farmers to keep denser herds.

Nitrates are commonly used in fertilisers and in excessive amounts can cause rampant growth of aquatic plant life – something which the Environmental Protection Agency has increasingly pointed to as a major factor in the quality of Ireland’s water.

With reporting by Mairead Maguire

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