‘No time for honeymoon period’ for McConalogue – ICMSA

The Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association (ICMSA) has said there is “no time for a honeymoon period” for Charlie McConalogue, the newly-appointed Minister for Agriculture.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin appointed Fianna Fáil TD McConalogue as the new Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine this afternoon in the Dáil (Wednesday, September 2).

Also Read: How much do you know about the new Minister for Agriculture - Charlie McConalogue?

President of the ICMSA Pat McCormack has welcomed the appointment of McConalogue, saying it would be “difficult to overstate the number and importance of the challenges facing the incoming minister”.

“I’m afraid I don’t think there can be any kind of ‘honeymoon period’ for Minister McConalogue,” McCormack said.

“We’ve lost two months as it is and I would suggest that the very first priority has to be introducing a degree of stability and the restoration of some momentum to several of the policies that appear to have drifted in the absence of a minister.

On issues like Brexit, CAP [Common Agricultural Policy] post-2020, Mercosur and climate change; we need commitment, energy and direction and we need them all urgently.

McCormack added that the ICMSA looks forward to meeting with McConalogue and will “try in every way to work constructively and come forward with solutions to the enormous problems that we all know must be faced and dealt with”.

McCormack also referred to his concerns over the previous minister’s resignation, Dara Calleary, following ‘Golfgate’, along with Barry Cowen’s removal from the same role before that due to a drink-driving controversy.

“The events of the last two months have damaged the agriculture sector and we need to see a ‘whole-of-government’ approach from the Taoiseach downwards that brings that focus and drive to the massive issues facing our multi-billion euro farm and food sector,” he concluded.