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Ferris criticises EU appointment

5 July, 2010 - by Martin Ferris TD

The Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Agriculture Martin Ferris TD has strongly criticised the decision by the Government to remove one of two farming representatives from the European Economic and Social Council. Up until now two of the Irish representatives have been nominated by the IFA and the ICMSA. However, the Government decided to allocate one seat to the so-called ‘environmental pillar,’ which has chosen a member of Birdwatch Ireland to take up the position.

Deputy Ferris said: “While I have nothing against either the ‘environmental pillar’ or Birdwatch Ireland, it is difficult to comprehend how this move will help matters at a vital time for the Irish agricultural sector and the overall economy. Farming remains the most important indigenous sector and it is vital that it is represented at this level, particularly at a time when the EU is about to commence another review of the Common Agricultural Policy.

“Coming as this does in the midst of massive rural dissatisfaction over the manner in which Minister Gormley is pursuing issues relating to animal welfare, there is a suspicion that the replacement of the representative of the second largest farm organisation by an amateur bird watcher is a calculated insult to both the farm organisations and rural Ireland in general.” ENDS

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