Healy-Rae: We have yellow jackets as good as French lads

Kerry TD Danny Healy-Rae has called on farmers to cooperate and to take factories, supermarkets and the Government “to task” over prices, payments and climate action.

Speaking at a meeting of the Beef Plan Movement in Castleisland Livestock Co-op Mart in his native county, Healy-Rae said: “We have yellow jackets just as good as the lads in France, but we have to get together,” referring to the ‘yellow-vest’ protests in France in recent weeks.

Those protests are aimed at the French government’s policies on climate action, and Healy-Rae expressed similar feelings regarding environmental policies effecting rural people here.

The way they’re going at the moment they don’t want us to drink a pint, or eat a bit of meat…they’ll have us all going around on bicycles.

“They try to tell us about carbon, and we know we’re not doing anything wrong. Nobody needs to be telling you to watch the carbon,” said Healy-Rae, addressing the farmers in attendance.

Healy-Rae went on to claim that environmental regulations were a source of concern for farmers, because of what non-compliance with these rules could mean in terms of receiving payments.

This generation has massive things to do…in obeying environmental rules and regulations. Farmers have every kind of a fella coming into the yard with white boiler suits and white wellingtons, and people are terrified to see them when they come, because it could mean you finish up with no payment that year.

Healy-Rae also argued that the purpose of the payments was to replace the income lost in ordinary trade.

“A lot of people in urban places think farmers are getting these cheques for nothing. That’s not true, because they’re to remunerate us for the price we should be getting,” he said.