Michael Fitzmaurice has told newly appointed Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Barry Cowen, that he needs to take prompt action to address a number of pressing issues currently facing farmers.
“We need to make sure that the beef sector and sheep sector are looked after – it has gone through turmoil and we have to make sure that it is sorted out immediately.” the Deputy said in a speech on Sunday, June 27th.
The Independent TD told the Taoiseach that it is “really disappointing” that the Department of Rural Affairs, which was “fought for” in 2016, is now becoming the responsibility of the Minister for Social Protection.
Heather Humphreys has been appointed to the position of Minister for Social Protection, Community and Rural Development and the Islands.
“Social protection with Covid-19 at the moment is one of the busiest areas you could be and to lump rural affairs in on top of it, I don’t think is either fair to a minister or the people in rural Ireland.”
No senior minister in west
Addressing An Taoiseach, Michael Martin, Fitzmaurice said: “I am baffled when you look at that map in the red area that you didn’t see fit to have one senior minister from the top of Donegal to the bottom of Limerick.”
“I am baffled that the west and north-west of Ireland will not have a senior minister in that area. It is your job to have equality in all parts of the country, to make sure that regional development takes place and people are treated equally no matter where they area.”
“There are 1.2 million people there, the same as what is in the city of Dublin, that has eight senior ministers.”
“The gauntlet is thrown down that you will treat those people in that area properly when they haven’t a senior minister.” Fitzmaurice concluded.