Reaction as Cork man Michael Creed takes up Minister for Agriculture job

Last week, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny announced Cork TD Micheal Creed as his new Minister for Agriculture.

A Macroom native Creed is married to Sinead and has three children and takes over from out going Minister Simon Coveney who has now taken over the Housing and Local Government portfolio.

Creed was first co-opted to Cork County Council in 1987. He was first elected to Dail Eireann in 1989.

He has held several positions on the Fine Gael front-bench including; Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, 2007 – 2010, Health 1989 – 1993, Youth & Sport in 1993-1994 and Education; Arts, Culture & the Gaeltacht in 1994. He was the Chairperson of Cork County Council for the period 2005/06.

Farmer organisation reaction

IFA

IFA President Joe Healy congratulated Michael Creed on his appointment as Minister for Agriculture.

Wishing him well in the role, Joe Healy said he looked forward to an early meeting with Minister Creed to discuss the severe income crisis in farming and he expects a strong response from the new Minister for Agriculture.

Joe Healy
New IFA President Joe Healy

Joe Healy said IFA will be working with the new Government, led by Taoiseach Enda Kenny, on the implementation of all of the measures on agriculture in the Programme for Government.

The IFA President welcomed the positive aspects on agriculture contained in the Draft Programme, in particular, the new funding for sheep and Disadvantaged Areas (ANCs).

Joe Healy said that IFA had presented detailed proposals on farming to the political parties in the General Election and during the Government negotiations. He said a significant number of the measures contained in the Draft Programme reflect the issues raised by IFA.

The IFA President welcomed the proposed €25m funding for a new sheep scheme and the increase in funding for the ANC Scheme of €25m. He said both measures need to be in this year’s Budget and paid out to farmers in 2017.

IFA had undertaken intensive campaigns over the last year for a new targeted sheep payment and the restoration of Disadvantaged Area payments (ANC).

ICMSA

The President of ICMSA, John Comer, said that Minister Creed was taking up his position at the most challenging time imaginable for Irish farming and particularly, our dairy farm system, which Mr Comer described as the “jewel in our agri-food crown.”

rural Ireland
John Comer, President of ICMSA

He said that Item Number One for Minister Creed had to be some policy to address the catastrophic income wipe-out being suffered by dairy farmers as they approached a full year of receiving a milk price well below the costs of production and Comer said that ICMSA would be seeking an urgent meeting with Minister Creed at the earliest opportunity to impress upon him the extent of the threat to our unique system of family dairy farms.

ICSA

ICSA president Patrick Kent has congratulated Michael Creed on his appointment as Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

“Minister Creed has a challenging time ahead with numerous issues needing urgent attention, most notably the double threat of the Mercosur and TTIP deals and the detrimental effect they pose to the Irish beef industry.”

Patrick Kent, president of the ICSA
Patrick Kent, president of the ICSA

“The current Rural Development programme also needs to be refocused to make it work better for farmers. Key issues include the reversing of cuts to disadvantaged areas, a more user friendly GLAS that delivers real benefits and a dedicated sheep scheme. A common sense approach to the BDGP scheme is also required and a commitment to ensuring that the planned allocation is fully utilised.”

Addressing the issue of the Bord Bia Quality Assurance Scheme (QAS) Mr Kent said, “The Minister needs to ensure that the purpose of QAS is to reward farmers, not penalise them.”

“ICSA looks forward to working with Minister Creed on these and many other issues affecting Irish farmers. We wish him well in his new role.”

INHFA

The Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association welcome the formation of a new Government and look forward to working with the newly appointed Minister for Agriculture Deputy Michael Creed.

It said Irish Agriculture is heading into very challenging times with the possibility of a British exit from the EU and potential trade deals that will disadvantage Irish farmers.

In this respect it is vital that we have a Government and Minister working in the best interests of all farmers, the INHFA said.

Macra na Feirme

Macra na Feirme President Seán Finan congratulated Michael Creed on his appointment as Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Finan said the Minister’s focus must be to ensure the maximum number of young trained people enter farming and the opening of the young farmer National Reserve is an immediate priority for the new Minister.

National Reserve
A Macra na Feirme delegation of young farmers, led by President Sean Finan (third from left).
Photo: Donal O’ Leary

Finan also welcomed the appointment of Minster Heather Humphreys who has responsibility for Rural Affairs. Rural areas and rural youth faces many challenges and Macra will actively work with the new Minister to progress positive solutions to these challenges.

“Macra na Feirme looks forward to meeting and engaging with both Ministers and building a positive future for young farmers and rural youth”, he said.