Factories and factory feedlots cannot be allowed to avail of any of the beef aid package, according to the national treasurer of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA), Tim Cullinan.

Cullinan was addressing a meeting of North Tipperary IFA this evening, Tuesday, May 21, where the issue of the €100 million aid was top of the agenda.

“Factories cannot get any of this money. Feedlots definitely can’t, or agents. It’s the genuine farmer that needs to get it,” said Cullinan.

Cullinan explained that the IFA will form a policy on where the association feels the money should go, and how it should be divided. That policy is expected to be finalised at a meeting of the national council next week.

“We hope the department will listen to us on this,” said the treasurer.

Giving a brief outline of what that policy would look like, Cullinan said: “The finishing beef farmer definitely has to be compensated. It is also the view that some would go the way of suckler farmers.”

He was also keen to stress that the aid is a “retrospective payment; it doesn’t mean everything is okay as of now”.

If Brexit goes wrong, we will need more compensation. It’s not Ireland’s fault that there’s going to be a Brexit…we could be going back again.

Today, the Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, confirmed that the Government will match the EU’s €50 million funding.

Speaking in Dáil Éireann today, the Taoiseach said: “We will of course have to provide matching funding.”

However, Taoiseach Varadkar stipulated: “We still yet don’t have the terms and conditions from the commission on the exact detail on how that scheme is going to work.”

AgriLand understands that the package will be co-funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine – which will fund €15 million – and the Department of Finance – which will fund the remaining €35 million.