Taoiseach’s comments ‘ill-judged’ says Fianna Fail

The Taoiseach’s recent comments about eating less meat to reduce his carbon footprint have angered beef farmers, according to the Fianna Fail spokesperson on agriculture.

Charlie McConalogue said that Leo Varadkar, as the Taoiseach, is responsible for implementing Government policy, which includes promoting the beef sector.

“The Taoiseach has completely ignored the fact that Ireland has one of the most carbon-efficient beef production systems in the world,” said McConalogue.

“Irish beef farmers have worked incredibly hard to achieve and maintain their record on climate change mitigation, but Leo Varadkar has failed to recognise this,” he added.

As the Taoiseach, he is in charge of implementing the Programme for Government, which clearly commits the Government to promote the Irish beef sector and exports. Instead of doing this, he is committing to reduce his red meat intake, which he claims will reduce his carbon footprint.

The Taoiseach had claimed that he was reducing his consumption of red meat in order to cut down on his carbon footprint, which he said contributes to climate change mitigation.

McConalogue also criticised Varadkar for not acknowledging what the Fianna Fail spokesperson called the “anger he had caused”.

His point was reiterated by his party colleague Jackie Cahill, Fianna Fail spokesperson on food and horticulture, who said: “These comments have caused anger among beef farmers across the country. They’re currently some of the lowest beef prices in recent times and are under immense financial pressure.”

Cahill concluded by saying: “The Taoiseach is completely out of touch with farmers and the farming community. These comments were completely inappropriate for the head of Government and could prove hugely damaging for an already strained beef sector.”