Farmers march in Roscommon as part of nationwide protests

Hundreds of farmers took to the streets of Roscommon town on Friday last to protest over the recently passed Climate Action Bill and proposed changes to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

The march was part of a nationwide series of protests organised by the Irish Farmers Association and taking place in Cavan, Laois, Roscommon and Cork.

Friday’s action in Roscommon was led by IFA President Tim Cullinan, who addressed those gathered at Dr. Hyde Park, where the protest commenced.

  Mr. Cullinan claimed that farmers would lose a quarter of their basic income in the coming years due to CAP proposals and said the IFA would take their protest to Dublin if Government wasn’t prepared to sit down with farmers.

He claimed that current proposals were “very worrying” and would mean a cut in emissions of 51 per cent by 2030. He added that farmers needed a proper plan from Government.

Roscommon IFA Chairman Jim O’Connor said the IFA had delivered a very clear message to Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue last Friday.

“This protest was about saving farming and saving family farms,” he said.

“Our President (Tim Cullinan) gave a very clear message to the Minister for Agriculture that he must sit down and negotiate with the IFA and introduce a workable proposal to eco schemes and a redrafting of the Nitrates Action. I suspect this message was heard”.

  Mr. O’Connor said the IFA had a very clear mandate and track record in representing Irish farmers and members were prepared to take their protest to Government buildings.

“En masse we will arrive in Dublin and give this Government the clearest message they have got since they came to office,” he said.

Local Fianna Fáil Senator Eugene Murphy, who attended Friday’s march, said that there are many challenges ahead when it comes to climate change but that farmers had to be seen as part of the solution.

Last Friday’s protest, which was attended by IFA officials and farmers from across the region, was led by five tractors bearing IFA flags from each of the Connacht branches as it made its way through Roscommon town before finishing at Government buildings on the Golf Links Road.