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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
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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‘A modified event involving tractors and machinery is the safest course of action’

The IFA is modifying Sunday’s farm family rally in light of Covid-19-related concerns.

The move comes following cabinet approval of a raft of measures to contain the virus’ spread.

Yesterday, An Taoiseach, Micheal Martin, announced that the following measures would apply in the country from midnight on Thursday, November 18th:

  • Passes will be required on a statutory basis for cinemas and theatres;
  • Pubs, restaurants and nightclubs to close at midnight;
  • Working from home to begin for those who can – decrease socialisation;
  • Household close contacts should restrict movement for five days pending completion of antigen testing.

Farm family rally

Following this announcement, in a statement yesterday (Tuesday, November 17th, 2021), the farm group said it would revise its plans for Sunday due to “increasing concerns” around Covid-19.

Its president, Tim Cullinan, said:

“Based on discussions with our members, and following a meeting of the national council, we believe a modified event involving tractors and machinery that will allow us to send our message is the safest course of action, given the current COVID situation,” he said.

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The farm leader said it was a “big” decision for IFA.

However, he believes it is “the right thing to do” in light of the:

  • Increase in COVID numbers;
  • “Attendant” pressure on Ireland’s health system.

“The reality is that IFA has been forced to have this protest because the government has refused to engage with the IFA on a proper plan for the sector at farm level.”

He called again on the government to negotiate with elected farm leaders. He said it must have a meaningful engagement to agree a plan for the sector at farm level, including around CAP.

IFA believes the government must come up with more funding for Pillar II schemes to support vulnerable sectors.

“Farmers can play our part on climate change. However, we need a plan with proper funding that guarantees economic, social, and environmental sustainability,” he concluded.

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