IFA President, Tim Cullinan, has said that certain proposals made in the Fine Gael-Fianna Fáil ‘to facilitate negotiations’ document will be strongly contested.
The Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) are particularly resistant to the proposals of making land cheaper and potentially forcing farmers to give up their land.
“IFA is completely opposed to any such land grab by the State whether that be through legislation or referenda to change constitutional property rights.”
“I wrote to party leaders on March 11th before the talks, putting them on notice that such an approach was unfair and would be fought every step of the way by IFA,” Cullinan stated.
“Overall, the document is very light on agriculture and gives no real commitments in relation to defending the CAP or trying to improve farm viability. Any programme for Government must contain a lot more commitments on farming” he said.
The IFA President believes that any future government should make use of State-owned land before encroaching on farmers, in order to avoid any unnecessary conflict with land-owners.
“The reality is that there are almost 2,000 hectares of land under State ownership, which can be mobilised today to address the housing challenge.”
“IFA will not allow the housing problem to be used as a trojan horse to diminish the property rights of farmers and property owners across the country.”
“Farmers deserve fair value for their lands. Any attempt to pay less than the open market value for land and associated compensation will be strongly opposed by IFA.”
Cullinan concluded by reiterating the IFA’s stance on the matter, saying “This was IFA’s position when NESC and the Law Reform Commission both examined the issue in 2018 and it remains our position today.”