The letter is requesting a change to how marts are to operate under Level 5 restrictions

Deputy Jackie Cahill has written to An Taoiseach, T.D. and the Minister for Agriculture, Charlie McConalogue T.D. requesting a change to how marts are expected to operate under Level 5 Covid restrictions.

The Chairperson of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Agriculture and the Marine wrote to the Minister stating the committee’s opinion that an online bidding process would not be viable under Level 5 restrictions. Cahill has requested that marts be allowed meet in person, with a maximum of 20 people allowed enter for bidding purposes, as broadband in many parts or rural Ireland does not have the capacity for marts to operate online, as was hoped under Level 5.

Deputy Jackie Cahill writes to the Taoiseach and Minister about marts

Tipperary’s FF Deputy Jackie Cahill

” I wrote to the Minister for Agriculture stating the Joint Committee’s concerns in relation to marts having to operate online for the next six weeks. Today, I contacted the Taoiseach and the Minister as a rural TD, with an agricultural background, to raise concerns I have about how marts operated, or rather failed to operate, these last few days”, Cahill said.

“We have seen many marts not being able to run as envisaged as the broadband issues could not be overcome. I have received reports of a number of marts all around the country not being able to carry out the online bidding process, and effectively having to close.”

“I am requesting that 20 people be allowed to attend marts again for bidding purposes, as was the case at Level 3, so that these essential food production operations can continue over the next six weeks. To do otherwise will threaten the livelihoods of thousands of farmers across the country. Rural Ireland cannot afford this”, he concluded.

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