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06 Jul 2022

Food scarcity to highlight Laois farming value

'Nothing only fear, frustration, anger and uncertainty' _Laois farmers in Portlaoise protest

The Laois IFA banner held high by Declan Hanrahan from Borris-in-Ossory, and Laois IFA chairperson John Fitzpatrick. Photo: Lynda Kiernan

The importance of farmers in Laois and elsewhere will be appreciated when food supply runs low, a Laois public representative believes.

Cllr Ollie Clooney, Independent, made the comment at a recent meeting where restrictions on farmers were being highlighted when compared to entities like Irish Water.

“It is only when food is scarce that people will realise the good farmers do,” said Cllr Ollie Clooney.

He said there may be some farmers who do things that should not be done but most operate to high standards.

“We can’t paint them all with one brush. 99% of farmers are absolutely brilliant. They are working hard and keeping communities going.

“When they are closed down we will miss them,” he said.

Cllr Paddy Bracken, Fianna Fáil, said farmers face stiff penalties if they break any regulation where Irish Water are not sanctions for not replacing sewerage systems in towns like Mountmellick.

Cllr John King, Fine Gael, said farmers are checked on a regular basis. He said farmers are investing millions of euro for a very small return.

The issue was discussed at the Laois County Council Borris-in-Ossory Mountmellick Municipal District meeting in June.

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