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File photo of Fogarty from 2018 Photocall Ireland
Controversy

Irish Wildlife Trust officer resigns after claiming farming groups are becoming far right

Pádraic Fogarty announced his resignation this morning, after the IWT edited the blog post to remove some political references.

THE CAMPAIGNS OFFICER of the Irish Wildlife Trust (IWT) has resigned after controversy about a blog post he wrote on the trust’s website which accused farming organisations of ”lurching to the far right”.

Pádraic Fogarty, who stated online that he has been involved with the IWT for 20 years, published the blog post last Friday and named the Irish Farmers Asssociation, the Irish Creamery and Milk Suppliers Organisation and the Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association.

Fogarty announced his resignation this morning, after the IWT edited the blog post to “remove political references that could be perceived to be divisive”.

He Tweeted that one of the references removed from the post was a comparison he made between the IFA and the DUP.

“While I was told about the decision, I wasn’t involved in it. But I respect it, the board are absolutely entitled to control what’s on the website,” he said.

“However I can’t support it. Also, the blog was online for nearly a week and it only became an issue when the IFA made a complaint. Therefore, at least part of the decision was down to IFA bullying. For these reasons, I’ve decided to resign from the IWT.”

The blog post, titled ‘Drift of the farm orgs’ remains on the IWT’s website with a disclaimer that it represents the views of the author and not the IWT.

Fogarty wrote on the blog that:

“Irish farm organisations increasingly appear happy to spread conspiracy theories, undermine scientists and their findings and convince their members that their way of life is under attack by an urban elite that cares little for them or their values.”

“They have adopted a hard ‘no’ position on nearly all measures designed to address the climate and biodiversity emergencies.”

He also accused the organisations of “doom-laden, denialist rhetoric” that puts them in  the company of “fringe voices from the internet that are little more than WhatsApp chat groups”.

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