Cooney blasts RTÉ’s portrayal of farming as the ‘climate villain’

Recent coverage by RTÉ on the issue of climate change has been heavily criticised by a candidate in the upcoming Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) elections.

IFA deputy presidential candidate and current IFA environmental chairman Thomas Cooney has called for “a measured national debate on climate action”.

The Co. Cavan based dairy and beef farmer has outlined: “Farmers are part of the solution, not part of the problem.”

He said: “Some recent media commentary about climate change states repeatedly and inaccurately that farming in Ireland is the villain in the climate change debate.

RTÉ has gone as far as to specifically discourage viewers from consuming Irish produce such as beef and dairy. Inexplicably, it has at the same time promoted the consumption of imported goods like avocados as a climate-friendly alternative.

Continuing, Cooney said: “Farmers in this country are the main protectors of the environment.

“We protect and maintain vast carbon sinks, such as permanent pasture and hedgerows. We do this by controlling the use of fertilisers, investing our time and money in keeping water clean and safe, managing biodiversity and still producing a world-class product that has the smallest carbon footprint.

I am calling on viewers to remember this the next time that fake news is used to blame the farming sector for the current crisis.

Concluding, the IFA deputy presidential candidate stressed: “I will continue to be a strong advocate for both farmers and the environment.” He reiterated: “Farmers continue to be the solution, not the problem.”