Heydon to tackle farm safety and new market development

Newly-appointed Minister of State Martin Heydon is set to take on responsibility for “Research and Development, Farm Safety and New Market Development” as part of his duties in the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

The TD, who has served as chairman of the Fine Gael parliamentary party since 2016, and a TD for Kildare South since 2011, said he is honoured to be appointed a minister of state in the agriculture department.

A farmer, who attended Kildalton Agricultural College previously, Minister Heydon was announced as a minister on Wednesday evening, July 1.

Speaking after his appointment he said this would be an important time for his department with the livelihoods of farm families at stake.

“Agriculture and the agrifood sector played a key role in our recovery from 2011 and I have no doubt it can play a central role again in revitalising rural Ireland as the new government gets down to work.

“The challenges of climate action are ones that farmers, as custodians of the land, are very aware of.”

Continuing, the new minister of state added:

There are many exciting and innovative measures that farmers can take to help meet our climate change targets and I look forward to working with farmers and farm organisations to help to develop those further.

Minister Heydon, who as chairman of Fine Gael, regularly travelled to Europe to attend the European People’s Party (EPP) meetings, also highlighted the new government’s responsibility to address the urgent issue of Brexit which will be critical for the agricultural sector.

“This government will be charged with restarting and rebuilding our economy following the devastation of the Covid-19 pandemic.

It will also have to forge a new trading relationship with Britain at the end of the Brexit transition period – which will be of particular importance for the agriculture sector.

“These are unprecedented times and the challenges the new administration faces are great and many. I look forward to playing a part and making a real difference in these challenges ahead,” Minister Heydon concluded.