Ireland represented at EU agri ministers meeting – despite lack of minister

An informal meeting is currently underway of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council of the EU, bringing together the agriculture and fisheries ministers from all member states.

Despite fears that Ireland would not have any representation at this meeting – with the country between ministers at the moment – Ireland does in fact have representation at the meeting.

A spokesperson for the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine confirmed that the secretary general of the department, Brendan Gleeson, is attending the meeting – which is a physical meeting rather than a virtual meeting, which was the case in recent meetings due to Covid-19.

The department spokesperson said on Friday (August 28) that the department was putting plans in place to ensure Ireland had a voice at the meeting, which is taking place in Koblenz, Germany.

Ireland has been without a Minister for Agriculture for over a week now since the resignation of Dara Calleary, following the fall-out of the Oireachtas Golf Society event – also known as ‘golfgate’.

The Dáil has been recalled from recess early to deal with that fall-out, and also to appoint a new minister.

This is expected to happen tomorrow (Wednesday, September 2), with former Fianna Fáil opposition spokesperson for agriculture, food and the marine, Charlie McConalogue, being cautiously tipped as a favourite.

However, according to the 3,000 or so people who answered AgriLand’s poll on who the next minister should be, Tipperary TD Jackie Cahill was most people’s favourite, beating off stiff competition from McConalogue, Simon Coveney, Anne Rabbitte and Brendan Smith.

However, it’s tomorrow the real decision will be made when Taoiseach Micheál Martin appoints a new minister.