C: Carol Nolan TD

Carol Nolan questions “Green Party willingness to strong-arm young farmers”

Laois Offaly TD, Carol Nolan, has slammed a move by a Green Party MEP who wrote to a major Irish bank asking it to deny loans to young farmers who were engaged in carbon-intensive practices. 

The Independent TD said that Green Party TD’s and Senators must comprehensively and robustly distance themselves from any policy position which would see young farmers denied access to vital financial aid.

Deputy Nolan was speaking as a letter sent by Green Party MEP Ciaran Cuffe to Bank of Ireland calling on it avoid lending to young farmers engaged in carbon-intensive practices was condemned as ‘wrong’ by Tánaiste Leo Varadkar. 

The Tánaiste is the latest high-level member of government to condemn the letter:

“In the last week or so I have been contacted by many famers in Laois-Offaly who remain extremely angry at the position adopted by this Green Party MEP,” Deputy Nolan said.

“For them, and indeed for myself it reveals an incomprehensible level of arrogant over-reach into the lives of young farmers.

It also exposes the great fear that many people have around the Greens; namely that no matter what they say in public about ‘voluntary diversification’ of farm practices, the reality is that they are more than happy, behind the scenes, to strong arm young farmers using the institutional muscle of the pillar banks.

It is an open secret in Dáil Eireann that the other government parties are increasingly resentful of the policy dominance of the Greens. The fact that it continues is merely an indication of their unwillingness to counter it, which in turn makes them complicit in actions like those of Mr Cuffe.

In that sense the acknowledgement by the Tánaiste that Mr Cuffe’s actions were ‘wrong’ only amount to a statement of the obvious.

The Green’s must make it clear that they do not support coercive pressure being applied on young farmers, either directly or indirectly. Failure to do that will only confirm that the Party is not really serious about respecting young farmers who are vital to the sectors survival,” concluded Deputy Nolan.

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