TDs and senators from the Green Party are being called on to “robustly distance themselves” from a letter sent to Irish banks by their party colleague and MEP Ciarán Cuffe.

Independent TD Carol Nolan called for the party’s Oireachtas members to reject any policy position which would see young farmers denied access to financial aid.

In his letter, it is understood that Cuffe expressed concern over lending policies of banks where young farmers are concerned.

The letter has sparked controversy in the agri-sector and politics, with farm organisations and some rural-based TDs condemning Cuffe’s actions.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar recently described the MEPs decision as “wrong”, which Nolan said “amounts to a statement of the obvious”.

Speaking this morning (Thursday, December 9), Nolan said: “In the last week or so, I have been contacted by many farmers in Laois-Offaly who remain extremely angry at the position adopted by this Green Party MEP.

“For them, and indeed for myself, it reveals an incomprehensible level of arrogant overreach into the lives of young farmers,” she claimed.

The Laois-Offaly TD also asserted “many people” have a “fear” regarding the Green Party.

She claimed that this “fear” was that “no matter what they say in public about ‘voluntary diversification’ of farm practices, the reality is that they are more than happy, behind the scenes, to strong-arm young farmers using the institutional muscle of the pillar banks”.

She went on: “It is an open secret in the Dáil that the other government parties are increasingly resentful of the policy dominance of the Greens.

“The fact that it continues is merely an indication of [other government parties’] unwillingness to counter it, which in turn makes them complicit in actions like those of Cuffe,” Nolan argued.

She called on the Green Party to “make it clear” that they do not support “coercive pressure being applied on young farmers, either directly or indirectly”.

“Failure to do that will only confirm that the party is not really serious about respecting young farmers who are vital to the sectors’ survival,” Nolan concluded.