Farmers protest in Cork against growth of air travel as they are asked to cut their emissions

IFA’s ‘Enough is Enough’ demonstration saw traffic disruption in Cork city as tractors formed convoy

Over 100 farmers in tractors travelled in convoy to Cork Airport and to a Cork County Council meeting on Monday morning as part of their nation wide ‘Enough is Enough’ series of protests.

The Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) says that it wants to highlight the growth of air travel at a time when farmers are being warned to cut their output of emissions.

Chairman of the National Environmental Committee of the IFA, John Murphy, says that farmers are being treated unfairly.

“Farmers feel that the country is rocking on. It is booming with loads of jobs. We are the only sector that is actually asked to take a cut in our output and to take a cut in our living standards and our ability to make a living.”


IFA President Francie Gorman met with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar last week. Speaking after the meeting, he said that he made it clear to the Taoiseach that farmers were frustrated and angry with increased regulation, reduced supports and falling incomes. A number of key issues were discussed, including the cost of doing business, the nitrates derogation, the need for immediate tillage supports, ash dieback, VAT refunds, the residential land tax and work permits.

Mr Gorman said that he made it clear to the Taoiseach that the Government needs to lead a unified national effort to retain the nitrates derogation.

“All politicians, farm organisations and the sector need to pull together to ensure the derogation stays in place.”

Some traffic disruption occurred as a result of the protest on Monday morning as approximately 60 tractors took to the roads. Cork Airport had advised passengers to give themselves additional time for their journeys during rush hour today.

In a statement, the DAA said that like Ireland’s farming community they are playing their part in the national and global effort to address climate change.

“Both Cork and Dublin Airports have committed to reducing their Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 51% by 2030 - these are the emissions we have direct control over.

“This commitment is in line with the National Climate Action Plan’s public sector targets. Our efforts have been recognised by SEAI, which has named Cork Airport the leading commercial semi-state body for its energy management for two years running.

“We also continue to work closely with our airline partners to identify opportunities to reduce the carbon emissions that are under their direct control.”

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