The Markey family farm in Drumever, Carrickmacross and Killanny Community Centre in Carrickmacross were centre stage on Tuesday (18th November) when First Vice President of the European Parliament and MEP for Monaghan, Mairead McGuinness and a delegation from the European Parliament’s Agriculture Committee paid an official visit to the county.
The meetings were part of a three day visit of the Parliament’s Agriculture committee to the Midlands North West constituency.
Farming organisations were well represented during the visit with the IFA, the Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association (INHFA) and the Ulster Farmers Union (UFU) all in attendance.
Discussions were dominated by the forthcoming reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), pressures on the CAP budget and Brexit.
Ms McGuinness said the Markey farm is an important example of farming in rural Ireland. “Eamonn and Mary Markey and their family are reflective of family farms rooted in community and working to survive and hand on the farm to the next generation,” she said.
However, that vision is facing obstacles, including the implications of a possible hard Brexit and their dry stock farming system and fears for the future of the CAP budget, she said.
“These issues were the fore in our discussions in Monaghan and reflect real concerns in the border region about disruptions arising from Brexit uncertainty.”
She said she was pleased members of the agriculture committee came to the region to gain first-hand knowledge of the concerns of farming families and their representatives.
“These discussions will help inform our work on preparing for the next CAP reforms and for Brexit outcomes, which remain uncertain,” she said.
The delegation undertook a packed programme of events around the country before completing their mission and returning to Brussels on Thursday evening.