Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Agriculture and Food, Martin Ferris TD, has criticised the fact that the Estimates released for the Department of Agriculture and Food will be insufficient to maintain the Teagasc research facilities which are being closed down. Earlier this week, the remaining workers at the Ballinamore dairy research farm were transferred to Ballyhaise. This represents a massive blow not only to the local economy but to the important research into local conditions that was carried out there.
Deputy Ferris said: "I am disappointed that Teagasc has not been given the necessary funding to both maintain its current level of operations and to expand at this time of radical change within Irish farming. This Government has decided, for political reasons, to close Ballinamore and there are threats hanging over a number of other centres. I am calling on the Minister to fight to ensure that the Teagasc estimate is increased so that the necessary research and development is there to allow Irish farmers to adapt themselves to changing conditions."ENDS