Opinion

Jack Russell: I wonder if Jackie has any plans up his sleeve?

The idea that we can go on planning and achieving double-digit annual growth in milk production, while everyone else struggles to adjust to environmental realities and ponies up for intervention and voluntary reduction schemes to mop-up the surplus milk we’ll produce, is delusional.

The Dutch are a famously practical people; but then living below sea level will do that to you.

They realise that there are certain situations where no exceptions can – or should – be made.

If we ask for any kind of exemptions from a serious attempt to reconcile our productions with our environmental commitments, then the Dutch are going to start spitting about certain countries having a Rotterdam cheek!

The big seat

Whether or not you’re off to Tipperary in the morning, Tipperary is certainly coming to you.

Jack – an informed industry writer – notes the recent election of Loughmore’s Eamon Carroll to the chairpersonship of the National Dairy Council.

The Tipp-Cork divvy-up of the prime cuts in Irish agriculture and farming organisations continues apace.

And yet Jack struggles to recall the last Tipperary man to serve as Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Is it really all the way back to Michael O’Kennedy for the last representative of ‘The Premier County’ to sit behind the big desk?

When the rebels have polished the seat three times since with Joe Walsh, Simon Coveney and Michael Creed all wielding the ministerial seal with the same wristy action of Christy Ring, Jimmy Barry and Sean Óg O’Halpin.

Jack suspects that some Tipperary people might have noticed this run of results. He’d bet his life that Fianna Fáil TD and ex-president of the Irish Creamery and Milk Suppliers’ Association (ICMSA), Jackie Cahill, is one that has clocked the fact that it’s nearly 30 years since a Tipp man got to the top in the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM).

I wonder has Jackie any thoughts on that? Any little plans up his sleeve-namon?