Updated: 05/04/18 : 05:25:44Printable Version
Fianna Fail TD Marc Mac Sharry has called for the sacking of Minister Michael Creed for what he says has been the Governments “total ineptitude in handling the crisis. The Sligo based TD said, “On October 11th, I first identified and raised the inevitability of a fodder crisis and the need for planning and preparation for the crisis we now find ourselves in. True to form the Government ignored my calls.
"Since August 2017 the signs were clear with much of the herd being forced in doors much earlier than usual due to the inclement weather. The situation worsened considerably through the winter with Storm Emma, Snow and near continuous rainfall in many areas. Still most of the herd remains indoors by necessity.
Minister Creed and the Governments response to this has been an abject failure. He and his colleagues in Fine Gael and the Independents have displayed an extraordinary level of ineptitude to deal with the crisis or even understand the difficult realities faced by farming families nationwide.
As colleagues have said farmers are in some instances ‘starving themselves to feed livestock’.
Deputy Mac Sharry continued, "Creed’s Government initiatives so far have included the introduction of a totally unworkable fodder transport scheme and an even less workable fodder provision scheme which was so bad that in the worst crisis in history less than a dozen applied. Today he finally acknowledges the difficulties and has said his officials will ‘develop a new scheme’ . What does this mean ? and when?
Too little too late. Minister Creed’s ambivalence and ineptitude since the autumn has made this crisis worse. The appointment of a new Minister is urgently required to implement:a) Front loading of all farm payments
b) Government sponsored fodder transport
c) Emergency fodder provision nationally to all affected at cost
d) Multi annual planning for periodic fodder shortages
e) Compensation payments to worst affected
"Fodder supplies in Ireland are all but gone. Farming families require appropriate leadership and look to Government for assistance and guidance in times of crisis.
"In this regard the Minister’s performance has been a disgrace and requires his urgent replacement by the Taoiseach and the immediate implementation of tangible measures as those outlined," concluded Deputy Mac Sharry.