Fermanagh farmers fears over new minister

THERE is a feeling of fear among Fermanagh farmers following Saturday’s appointment of Andrew Muir as the Minister at the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).

The Alliance MLA has no direct farming experience, and his party has already indicated it will be prioritising the environmental side of the departmental portfolio.

While this should be a cause for optimism rather than concern, many local farmer are anxious given how previous environmental policies and proposals disproportionately disadvantaged small farmer holders in areas such as Fermanagh.


That’s despite the fact many small Fermanagh farmers, working with Ulster Wildlife and others, have been actually helping protect and nurture local ecosystems.

Cllr Sheamus Greene is one of those local small farmers concerned about Mr Muir’s appointment, and told the Herald he was “expressing the view of numerous people in the farming industry” following the ministerial announcement during the formation of the Executive on Saturday.

“Farmers and their families are very fearful of what Mr Muir may introduce as Agricultural Minister,” said Cllr Greene.

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