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Kenny warns about vulture funds buying agricultural loans

9 June, 2016 - by Martin Kenny TD

Sinn Féin’s spokesman on Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Martin Kenny TD, during priority questions to the minister in the Dáil yesterday, raised the matter of Ulster Bank agricultural loans being sold to vulture funds.

Deputy Kenny asked Minister Creed to address the consequences of removing land from the control of Irish farmers and if he had met the bank to discuss the matter. He pointed out that €100 million in agricultural loans had been sold by Ulster Bank recently.

He said:

“The issue cuts across many of the things that affect people the length and breadth of rural Ireland. Many people are in significant debt, aside from those in the agricultural sector.  A lot of this debt, which may put large amounts of farmland under the hammer and allow it to fall into the hands of vulture capitalists, was generated not on farms, but elsewhere.”

Deputy Kenny pointed out that the banks had encouraged farmers to take out loans during the boom and got people into debt.

“People were left with significant debt and now are under threat that their loans may be sold to vulture funds. Naturally, most people are fearful that such funds would have no compassion for farmers and would sell their property.”

When the minister said that he would meet the bank’s CEO in the coming weeks, Deputy Kenny said it was vital that the minister takes a “hands-on approach to this matter because the people affected are seriously concerned”.

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