The government has been urged to establish a new, national “action plan and taskforce” to improve water quality by the outgoing CEO of Tirlán.

Speaking at the co-op’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Co. Kilkenny today (Thursday, May 9) , Jim Bergin, urged the government to put a plan in place to improve water quality in order to “deliver the best case to retain Ireland’s nitrates derogation”.

He said that the co-op’s farmers had shown “they are willing to play their part” and also welcomed recent “pledges” by the Taoiseach and the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, in relation to the nitrates derogation.

But Bergin added: “It is vital that the government act swiftly as there is only 18 months remaining until a decision is made on the retention of Ireland’s derogation to allow farmers operate at 220kg per hectare.

“Now is the time for the government to deliver upon its National Biomethane Strategy to develop an indigenous biomethane sector, including increased slurry and digestate capacity on-farm.

“We have seen from other countries that a successful biomethane sector will require farmers to almost double their current storage capacity on farm. It is vital that capital support structures are put in place now to aid the expansion of storage capacity which will help deliver the biomethane strategy and protect water quality”.

He said this would not only help Ireland to retain its nitrates derogation but would also enable farmers to play an important role in relation to biomethane and climate targets.


Shareholders today heard at the AGM that Tirlán “will leave no stone unturned to retain the derogation”.

The co-op highlighted that this is because “it is the right thing for our environment, it is the right thing for our farmers”.

It also referenced its recently launched Farming for Water: River Slaney Project- which Tirlán said is designed to “enhance water quality”.

Shareholders today voted in favour of approving a 10% increase in the share interest (dividend) payment per share to 20.96 cent per share.