Closure of Cow Parks ‘a retrograde Government policy’ – Tóibín
Sinn Féin Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín has received information from the Minister for Agriculture which he says “indicates that the closure of the last remaining Cow Parks is government policy”. The answer to the parliamentary question states that the ‘disposal of the remaining land including cow parks is an essential element in the wind down of the former Land Commission.
Teachta Tóibín said:
“Yesterday, Westmeath County Council won a court case that could see farmers who have been farming a cow park in Edmondstown, Kilucan in Westmeath for 40 years being evicted. This is a retrograde step. There has been in Irish law for hundreds of years a provision whereby landless farmers have been able to access common land in order for them to rear cattle and make a living.
“It is also important that we do not privatise ordinary people off the land. It is healthy that the state facilitates a connection with the land and with producing food. Many countries allow for this through the provision of allotments and Cow Parks.
“There are indeed Departmental concerns with regards the mixing of herds and animal husbandry but there are solutions to these problems that do not include the ending of one of the last provisions of the state to allow landless farmers farm.”