Senator Michelle Mulherin has welcomed the €100 million fund for beef farmers, which she says will be a big help to the suckler farming sector in Mayo which has been hit very badly by stagnant beef prices.
She said this week: "The fund was confirmed to me by Commissioner Hogan on Wednesday and is much needed good news for beef farmers. The European Commission is contributing €50 million which will be matched by €50 million from the Government – bringing the total amount to €100 million.
"Over the past months, I have been in regular contact with farmers and have discussed their difficulties in regular communication with Commissioner Hogan, highlighting the plight of beef farmers and the continuous hammering they have been getting for the price of beef when they come to sell.
"It is totally unsustainable and the future of the whole sector is under serious pressure because of this. Thus has a particular impact on Mayo and the West where suckler farming is predominant and the beating heart of agriculture.
"I had also been highlighting the issue at the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture of which I am a member. and I also I raised my concerns with Michael Creed, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine. I am delighted Commissioner Hogan has secured this substantial funding for beef farmers at this crucial time and that the EU has responded to calls for assistance.
"I also want to acknowledge the Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe, who gave the seal of approval to this deal from the Irish Exchequer, and Minister Creed.
"Details of the scheme will be worked out in consultation with farming organisations in the coming weeks."