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Keep Your Friends Close
The last month has seen many issues that will have a long-
term e ect on farmers and agricultural contractors right
across the 26 counties. Not my words, but those of a farmer
I met on the train recently when heading to Croke Park for
the Quarter Finals. Two other lads from farming and agri
contracting backgrounds, who were in on the conversation,
were in total agreement. During the conversation, our
Taoiseach came in for a lambasting for his comments on
how the UK was facing decades of economic decline and
was struggling to cope with its reduced status on the world
stage. Whether this is true or false, my travelling companions
were of the opinion that the UK were first to row in with
financial assistance of 3.2bn, whilst our "fickle friends" in
Europe did us no favours when the economic crash hit
hard 10 years ago. Sure, the EU lent us money, but only to
ensure the Bbig boys in Europe didn't su er and we paid
the price with years of austerity. After Brexit we will need to
continue a close relationship with our neighbours, where we
will still have open access and will be able to avail of further
education and work opportunities. The general consensus
of the group was that Ireland needs all the friends it can get
and that was particularly true for the
By Tom Murphy
Professional Agricultural
Contractors of Ireland
farming sector and our Taoiseach would be better served
supporting an outright rejection of Mercosur. Not only for
the economic disaster that Mercosur would bring about
for Irish farmers, agricultural contractors and indeed many
other sectors, but what about the carbon footprint involved
in importing farm produce from the other side of the
world? So much for the fight against climate change. Not to
mention a conflict in standards that could put Irish farmers
at a serious disadvantage. The little `focus group' expressed
concern about attacks on our Corporation Tax rates and the
possibility of a European Army not to mention punishing
fines if we don't tow the EU line in relation to our spending
and compliance with a vast array of legislation; this, whilst
other countries flout EU requirements, and get away with it.
As we pulled into Heuston Station I finally got a word in and
agreed wholeheartedly with their opinions and concerns. As
we said our goodbyes the trio said they'd see me on their
return journey on the 18.45; `what a pity', I replied, `I'm on
the 20.30'!
Leonard Hovenden:
087 1475137 | John Doyle: 087 101 3053 | Allan Hetherington: 0044 7826544630
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