ICMSA’s Jackie Cahill gets the nod for Fianna Fail in Tipperary

The former President of the ICMSA Jackie Cahill has received the nod from Fianna Fail to represent the party in Tipperary, beating long-term Government advisor Martin Manseragh for the position.

Speaking to Agriland.ie this morning, he said that if elected, he intends placing a strong focus on the needs of Irish agriculture.

“Tipperary is a very rural constituency,” he said.

“Agriculture is our most important indigenous industry. It is also the foundation stone for the food sector.  The IDA has done very little to bring new jobs to Tipperary over the past number of years.

“This is why it is so important for the farming and food industries to get all the government support they need.”

He also said that the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney must push to have the €68m superlevy for 2014/15 repaid to Irish dairy farmers.

“We now have Phil Hogan in Brussels as the EU’s agriculture commissioner. And I see no reason why Coveney and he cannot join forces to sort out the superlevy issue,” he said.

“My understanding is that the super levy will be paid by Ireland in September of this year. And this process cannot be reversed. At the end of the day this is farmers’ money.

“And its re-payment would be a signal from Brussels that the EU is committed to the dairy sector. The most feasible way of doing this would be to spread the money across all of the milk produced in Ireland during 2014/15.”

The former ICMSA president is extremely upbeat regarding the future prospects for milk in Ireland.

“I fully recognise the pressure on the dairy sector at the present time. Milk prices have fallen significantly over the past number of months. Supply/demand factors have kicked in to bring about this state of affairs,” he said.

“All of the world’s main dairying regions have enjoyed perfect weather over the past 12 months. And, in the case of the US, milk producers there have been able to access very cheap grain.

“The current downturn in international markets is another reason why Brussels should refund Ireland’s 2014/15 superlevy.