Fianna Fáil blustering on key hill farmers vote fools no one – Mac Lochlainn
Responding to a statement from Donegal Fianna Fáil TD Charlie McConalogue about the failure of his party to support a Seanad motion advocating for a fair share of Areas of Natural Constraints (ANC) payments for hill farmers, Donegal Sinn Féin Senator Pádraig Mac Lochlainn accused Fianna Fáil of “blustering on the issue to cover up the division in their own party”.
Senator Mac Lochlainn:
“I laughed when I read Deputy McConalogue’s blustering excuses for his party failure to vote in favour of this Seanad motion.
“The facts are that this motion in support of the Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association's (INHFA) campaign for fairness in the distribution of ANC payments was on the Seanad order paper for a month for all to see.
“It is standard practice in the Seanad for votes on motions to be pushed at the Order of Business. Indeed, Fianna Fáil does so all the time.
“The INHFA have held public meetings and briefed all parties on their demands. Deputy McConalogue and his Fianna Fáil colleagues have attended those public meetings and briefings and made promises.
“The reason that his party didn't vote for the motion is that they have been divided on this issue. It was clear to me that some of his party colleagues in the Seanad were not ready to support the motion and were just searching for excuses.
“However, I welcome Deputy McConalogue’s fresh assurance that his party will now support this motion so my party will push a vote on the motion next week again. If Fianna Fáil want a debate before a vote, Sinn Féin will happily support that proposal.
“It is time to step up to the plate. Sinn Féin are proud of our track record, defending the rights of the most disadvantaged farmers. In particular, our Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has led the way in this regard over recent years. We shall see where everyone else stands next week in the Seanad.”