Kerry’s Danny and Pa are Fearlessly on the Farmers’ Side

A typical, back in the days, busy scene at Castleisland Co-Op Mart as a backdrop to Teachta Pa Daly and Deputy Danny Healy Rae who are both highlighting the current crisis in the country’s marts. ©Photograph: John Reidy

Two message came in last evening on the same topic from Kerry Dáil representatives. The first was from Deputy Danny Healy Rae, Independent and then from Kerry Sinn Féin Teachta Dáila, Pa Daly and they’re published here in that order.

 Deputy Danny Healy Rae Wants Mart Embargo Lifted

“I am making a direct call on the Government, the Taoiseach and the Minister for Agriculture to take immediate action to lift the embargo on the Marts and allow farmers and dealers to buy and sell cattle.

This follows the pandemonium that has taken place today Saturday 24th when the online system broke down in several marts and hundreds of cattle had to go home without being sold.

Broken Down TB Scheme

This is the time of year that farmers sell their cattle to pay their bills to contractors, feed suppliers, vets and others.

Many other farmers herds have been locked down all year because of a broken down TB eradication scheme.

There is no understanding by the Department of the damage deer and badgers are doing spreading the disease, these farmers are free to sell now and can’t.

Sell to Replenish Supplies

If customers all over the country can go into shops and supermarkets to buy meat surely the farmers should be allowed to utilize the marts to sell their cattle to replenish supplies.

Marts should be deemed an essential service also.

All marts have behaved impeccably and have followed all guidelines. I call again on the Government to open up the marts immediately,” – Danny Healy Rae, T.D.

Pa Daly, Sinn Féin TD Makes Urgent Call for Immediate Re-Opening of Marts

Kerry Sinn Féin TD Pa Daly has made an urgent call for the immediate re-opening of livestock marts throughout the country.

“The closure of the marts as part of Level 5 lock-down measures is proving a disaster for the farming community,” said Teachta Daly.

“Mart sales are down 50% compared this time last year and the livelihood of farmers is threatened further by this closure.

Online Sales Not an Option

“While Minister McConalogue states that marts can remain open via online sales, this is not a realistic option for many,” he said.

“Rural broadband is non-existent in Kerry and the vast majority of farmers are struggling to participate effectively in online marts, where they even exist.

“Compounding this, the online mart sales system ‘Livestock Live (LSL)’ ran into technical difficulties and was offline while some marts were running.

Pig in a Poke Bidding

“Many are hesitant to bid for an animal they are unable to see or inspect in person; post-sales inspections at the point of picking up the animal are considered unworkable.

“As well as being essential to trade, marts are key to the fabric of rural Ireland and provide the only meeting point many have in their working week.

The Will to Do It

“I have asked Minister McConalogue to review the situation as a matter of urgency.

“The marts themselves can designate staff to ensure social distancing is maintained and the Department of Agriculture can also have its own inspectors ensure marts are compliant.

“The Department of Agriculture simply needs to have the will to do it,” – Pa Daly, T.D.

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