The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD,Â last week on JuneÂ 8thÂ hosted the fourth in a series of all-island sectoral dialogues to discuss the implications of Brexit for the agri-food sector.
The main aim of discussions were the potentialÂ implications of Brexit for the Irish equine and greyhound industries. The Minister was joined at the event by Minister of State Andrew Doyle.
The event was held in Portlaoise and After it was finished Mr. Creedspoke to highlight the importance of equine and greyhound sectors for the ecomony, rural economies in particular. It also referred to the range of issues facing the secotrs with regards Brexit.
Mr. Creed said âWe are all familiar with the important economic, social and cultural roles that the equine and greyhound sectors play in Ireland, to the great benefit of rural communities in particular. It is also true to say that they are among the most highly integrated sectors with their UK counterparts, from both a North-South and East-West perspective. It is vitally important, therefore, that we ensure that we have a full understanding of all of the issues at play for these sectors as we respond to the Brexit challenge.â
The information shared and discussions had were praised by the minister who took time to commend the discussions taken on the equine sector. He said,âI was very heartened by the degree of engagement that was evident during todayâs discussions, which benefitted hugely from the strong attendance of equine industry representatives from Northern Ireland. Issues such as the importance of maintaining the Tripartite Agreement covering the movement of horses between Ireland, the UK and France, as well as all-island administrative and other aspects of the industryâs day-to-day operations were teased out in some detail. This is of great assistance to my own and my Departmentâs efforts to ensure that these issues adequately inform our approach to the Brexit negotiations.â
The Minister of State, Andrew Doyle, also spoke of the problems facing the greyhound sector, saying he too was pleased with discussions taken with regards the sector. He spoke of his satisfaction at the talks and positivity for the future of the greyhound industry. He said âI too was very pleased with the engagement from the greyhound industry today. Our separate breakout discussions afforded us a valuable opportunity to focus in detail on the challenges facing the sector arising from Brexit, and I am satisfied that the full range of issues was aired to the satisfaction of all concerned.â
Minister Creed concluded by calling for preparation from everybody involved, saying constant dialogue will help the sectors. HeÂ said âNotwithstanding the ongoing uncertainty in relation to Brexit, we must continue to prepare as diligently and as comprehensively as we can. Todayâs dialogue with the equine and greyhound sectors was an important further step in this regard, and I look forward to ongoing co-operation with these sectors as the negotiations unfold.â