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Coveney must intervene immediately to get fodder through French ports – Sinn Féin

16 May, 2013 - by Martin Ferris TD


Sinn Féin is calling on Minister Simon Coveney to intervene with his French counterpart to have fodder destined for Ireland moved through French ports. The party’s Agriculture spokespersons, Martin Ferris TD and Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh are raising the issue in the Dáil and Seanad this morning after spokespersons from farming organisations highlighted an impasse at French ports to them.

“According to farming spokespersons who have contacted us, some 3200 bales are sitting in French ports waiting to be loaded, but the French dockers are refusing to load them. Only four containers are to be put on ships headed for Ireland accounting for only 120 bales”, says Ferris. “That is far too little to cope with the present demand.

“The Minister must use his current position as Chairman of the Council of Ministers to get the French authorities to co-operate fully to have these vital foodstuffs transported to Ireland without further delay and help Irish farmers cope with the devastating crisis they find themselves in.”

“Galway farmers are incredibly frustrated that they can’t get their hands on this essential fodder”, according to Ó Clochartaigh. “They really can’t understand either why the Minister is not doing more at a European level to have payments brought forward to help them deal with their massive cash flow difficulties. They are asking us as well to call on the government to appoint a Minister of State in the Department of Agriculture now, to assist the senior Minister in dealing with this unprecedented challenge.

“Minister Coveney has been chairing the Council of Ministers, in the middle of CAP and CFP negotiations, as well as ‘burger gate’ and now the fodder debacle. Farmers feel he can’t do it all and that the Government has not been giving this crisis the attention it deserves. It appears farmers in the six counties have not been affected as badly, where the problems seem to have been handled much more efficiently by the Sinn Féin Agriculture Minister, Michelle O’Neill.”

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