A cohort of young farmers, among others, have joined forces to form the recently launched ‘Roots Party’, which claims that it has “the plan on how to save rural Ireland,” writes farming journalist, Catherina Cunnane.
April Sheehan Corkery, the group’s agricultural & rural affairs spokesperson, urges all those who have recently called for a rural Ireland party, particularly one that supports farmers and the ordinary people of rural Ireland, including youth, to back the group to see it through to being a registered party and vote at polling stations “when the time comes”.
Sheehan Corkery, on behalf of the group, told That’s Farming’s editor, Catherina Cunnane:
“We are a grassroots group of young people, farmers, students and workers from late teens and 20s up to mid-30s so far.”
“We came together in the autumn of 2021 to discuss amongst ourselves what we wanted to do and which direction to go to save our futures and our families.”
“Then, we spent a year in discussion amongst ourselves and with our families and communities to try and figure out what the people needed and to come up with a cohesive plan on how to build an Ireland that actually works for the ordinary people.”
“Before Christmas, we finalised what we were and what principles we stand for. We attended a few events and protests, such as the Coillte/Gresham house protests after Christmas.”
“We have temporarily put that on hold to expand and write out our policies in all areas of Irish life that matter to the ordinary people, and we will now be actively recruiting and attending events throughout the summer,” she attended/
Its first document was its agricultural and environmental policy, and since then, its policy has been shaped around it.
The group claims to have collated a “cohesive” plan, which it will publish in its upcoming circa 70-page manifesto.
“We are also seeking public submissions on the problems you are all facing to make sure we have everything covered.”
“Moreover, we fully intend to have as much of an impact on Irish thought and Irish politics as we can, regardless if we are in the Dáil in the next couple of elections or not.”
“Our activism will not be limited to electoral politics. There is a lot that can be done by people coming together, lots of actions that can be taken and a lot of good that can be done for our people and our communities.”
Sheehan Corkery confirmed that neither have prior political careers or any allegiance to any other party or group in the state or outside of it.
“Our group’s leaders are myself, an ordinary rural county Limerick woman from a dairy farming family who went broke in the late 2000s and Jordan Kavanagh, a young man from Carlow town of ordinary decent working stock.”
“Our membership includes farmers, students and the ordinary worker standing together. We are the people of rural Ireland, and we represent the people of rural Ireland because that is who we are.”
“Moreover, we are in this because we have nothing left to lose, and we ask all the rest of rural Ireland to join us in not going down without a fight. We do not have to make it easy on them.”
“Furthermore, we want a fair and equal Ireland that serves its people and actually has a plan for what we want to be; not one that is constantly vying for a pat on the head. from be it business or political interests, foreign and domestic.”
“What is more, we also differ from other parties in structure, with two leaders: one man and one woman, both to make sure the interests of both are catered for and to put the representation of women in politics front and centre while not doing down men either.”
Part-two to follow, during which the group sets out its stall on agricultural and rural-related issues.