O’Donovan stresses importance of agriculture to Co. Limerick
Added May 4th, 2016
Limerick Fine Gael TD Patrick O’Donovan has stressed the importance of farming and the agri-food sector to the economy of Co. Limerick in a Dáil debate. Patrick O’Donovan used the opportunity to speak in the Dáil to raise a number of issues which he said were of concern to farming families across Limerick.
Deputy O’Donovan raised the issue of the price being paid to farmers at present together with the need for the new Minister for Agriculture to engage positively with representatives of the farming organisations. He congratulated the new leadership of IFA and paid a particular tribute to Co. Limerick farmer Richard Kennedy on his election as IFA Deputy President.
“I want to wish the new leadership of IFA well in their role, and together with ICMSA, ICSA and Macra na Feirme there is a need for everyone with an interest in the future of farming in Ireland to work together to ensure that farming families are delivered to.”
Patrick O’Donovan also raised the issue of the agricultural college in Pallaskenry, and again called for additional teaching resources for colleges like Pallaskenry. “I have raised this issue on many occasions in the last Dáil. It’s not that long ago that there was a question mark over the future of some of these co0lleges, and now we have a situation where they are experiencing massive demand for places. Our colleges need to be resources to ensure that we provide young farmers with the necessary start for them to take on family farms, and also to allow existing farmers have access to continuing professional development so that they can maximise their potential.”
The Limerick TD also spoke of the designation of lands for conservation of the Hen Harrier habitat. “Five years ago when I came into this house for the first time I was the only deputy raising the issue of the Hen Harrier. In the intervening time we have made progress but it has been slow, so I am asking the new Minister for Agriculture, whoever that will be, together with the Minister who will be responsible for the National Parks and Wildlife Service, to work together to deliver a solution for this issue.”
Patrick O’Donovan concluded his statement to the Dáil by emphasising the need for new markets for Irish produce, and he said that it should be criteria of any Minister travelling abroad on official business to promote Irish food as a safe, traceable and of a superior quality. He concluded his remarks saying “given how important the agricultural sector is to our economy locally in Limerick I will be using all avenues available to me as a TD for the area to ensure that the issues affecting farmers and those working in the agricultural and food sectors are heard by Government.”