Farming bodies disappointed


Farm groups expressed disappointment at the suspension of the EU talks but said it was better to end the talks than to agree measures that would have negative implications for the State’s agricultural industry.

Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney said his focus would be on securing the best possible deal for Ireland when the negotiations resumed.

He said Taoiseach Enda Kenny and other government leaders had worked hard on Thursday night to defend the Common Agricultural Policy (Cap) budget and this had resulted in an €8 billion increase in agriculture funds. “Ireland will continue to maintain a strong defence of the Cap budget during our [EU] presidency next year,” he said.

Irish Farmers’ Association president John Bryan said farmers were disappointed that agreement was not reached at the heads of government meeting but “no deal is better than a bad deal”. He called on Mr Kenny to maintain the pressure in the ongoing negotiations.

Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association president Gabriel Gilmartin said the talks breakdown was “a significant setback” to achieving the right Cap deal.