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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnanehttps://www.thatsfarming.com/
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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‘Whether it is rewetting or culling of herds, farmers are being shoved off the land’

Galway farmer, Jackie Flannery, appears on RTÉ One

People in rural Ireland take issue with farming being blamed for “a lot” of the impacts of climate change.

That is according to Jackie Flannery, a farmer from Co Galway, who appeared on Monday Night Live on RTÉ One earlier this week.

Representing the Irish Rural Association, she explained that people, particuarly in farming and rural Ireland, “respect the fact that we have to make changes, but farming is blamed for a lot of the impacts”.

“They have the valuable land, the credits are there in the valuable land, and they feel that they are not being accommodated.”

“We have to look at the situations of our suckler herd to cull our animals. We have to look at rewetting, which is basically flooding of our lands.”

“So, in actual fact, what you will see is farmers in the west of Ireland, along the western seaboard, going out of business. So what do those people do?”

“What do the generations coming after my generation and so on and so forth do, or as you mentioned there, the present-day students?,” she asked.

“So, what happens there? What is there for them if the whole climate thing is not to be addressed and explained in simple layman’s terms to the people of Ireland?”

She said that the powers-that-be need to explain to farmers what they “have to do on their land” and that people are not objecting to what they can do, but they require an explanation.

Ag emissions

Commenting on the agreed target 25% cut in ag emissions by 2030, she said:

“When the initial targets started, it was 22%, then 25% and then 30%. Outside of the farming organisation representation, who consulted or spoke to anybody who is not affiliated with any farming organisation?”

“We would have liked to have been able to consult the figure and be part of that, but we, like a lot of people, were not. This is why a lot of people are very frustrated when they hear and they are told they have to cull the suckler herd when yet they see the other side of agriculture.”

She explained that there appears to be an argument between different sections of agriculture.

Flannery outlined that we must provide food for our country, but we are “not able to”.

“The humble spud, eggs and onions: we should be able to provide all of that, and we are not.”

“We are not providing enough, but we must feed our nation. All of this stuff that is going to come in climate-wise, we are not going to be able to do that. Whether it is rewetting, flooding or culling of herds, farmers are being shoved off the land.”

She said there is no consultation or communication, but people “seem to forget” that it is private property; it is our property and our right.

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