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Clarity needed on Fianna Fáil nitrates derogation position – Mullins

5th June 2024 - Fine Gael Press Office

Fianna Fáil must provide a clear position on the nitrates derogation to ensure that voters can make an informed decision at the polls, a Fine Gael MEP candidate has said.

John Mullins said, “Last night, Barry Andrews threw a curveball by declaring he’s against the nitrates derogation, putting him at odds with his own Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue. With the elections looming this Friday, Fianna Fáil owes it to every voter to clear the air.

“Fine Gael are absolute in our support for the nitrates derogation. Ireland’s distinctive grass-based system justifies the need for this derogation, and I firmly believe it should be maintained to support our farmers effectively.

“Where does Billy Kelleher stand on this issue? His silence leaves our farmers in limbo, uncertain if he supports their vital interests. The nitrates derogation is crucial for sustaining our unique, grass-based farming, which not only supports rural livelihoods but is integral to our environmental strategy.

“It’s all too easy for Dublin MEPs to dream up policy positions that hit hard in rural Ireland. Their disconnect could sow chaos among our farmers who were rightly rattled by the debate last night.

“Maintaining the nitrates derogation supports sustainable agricultural practices that are tailored to our unique landscape and farming methods. It’s a cornerstone of our agricultural policy that protects both our environment and our economy.

“The uncertainty generated by last night’s debate is deeply troubling, and it is high time the Tánaiste and Fianna Fáil addressed this issue promptly.” Mullins concluded.

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