Opportunities and challenges facing rural Ireland and the agriculture sector will be discussed at a Fine Gael special conference on Saturday.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar will be joined by Ministers, parliamentary party, councillors, and Fine Gael members to discuss a range of issues including how delivering for rural Ireland is one of the party’s top priorities.
The event takes place at the Glenroyal Hotel in Maynooth, Co Kildare this Saturday, November 18th.
Themes up for discussion include: ‘Stronger, Safer Communities’, ‘Farming and the next Generation’, ‘Thriving Rural Ireland’ and ‘EU and Food Security’. The debates will feature farmers, business and community leaders and academics.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said: “This Saturday’s Special Conference is a fantastic opportunity for our members, councillors and parliamentary party members to come together to listen and engage on issues facing rural Ireland and the farming and food sectors.
“Delivering for rural Ireland is one of my party’s priorities and central to that is ensuring that rural communities are vibrant places to live, work and raise a family.
“One of my first actions as Taoiseach was to establish the Department of Rural and Community Development, which has grown and expanded since and remains led by a Fine Gael Minister.
“Fine Gael has always supported farmers and the agri-food sector and we remain focused on providing solutions just as we have done in recent times of economic uncertainty.
“In Government our party has done its utmost both at home and at European level to mitigate the most severe effects of issues around market access and input costs – unique challenges that were caused by Brexit and the war in Ukraine.
“We have introduced extra supports for the Beef and Sheep sectors, provided access to the reduced cost energy scheme (TBESS) and have continued agricultural reliefs on capital gains tax and stamp duty to encourage farm transfers to the next generation of farmers.
“Vibrant rural communities go hand in hand with a vibrant agricultural industry and Fine Gael will ensure that both are strong and prosperous now and in the future.”
A questions and answers discussion with the Taoiseach and Cabinet Ministers from the Special Conference will be streamed live on Fine Gael’s social media channels from 5pm.
There will also be an AGM of Fine Gael’s National Agricultural, Food and Rural Development Forum of party and parliamentary party members.
This forum was set up last year, and is actively working across the country, and has met 3,000 people – farmers, communities and producers. It has held several regional conferences and events this year.
The inaugural AGM of the Fine Gael Women’s Network also takes place at the conference.
Ahead of three national elections (Locals, Europeans and a General), the Special Conference will explore how Fine Gael members can become more involved and influential in the policies their party makes
Members will discuss their role in an open, democratic, and transparent party that values honest debate. In the New Year, we will be aiming to hold a number of similar thematic events ahead of Fine Gael’s Ard Fheis on April 6th next in Galway.