Taoiseach Leo Varadkar says Budget 2018 “will bear in mind the potential impact of Brexit on particular sectors of the economy” as he launches Ireland’s oldest agricultural event.
Launching the Iverk Show last Saturday, Mr Varadkar paid tribute to the people who have kept the show going.
He said: “It has withstood the test of time. The challenge for us when we celebrate the bi-centenary of this show in 2026 is that we celebrate the success of Ireland as an economy, as a society.
“The founders of this show, almost 200 years ago, probably never imagined it would be going so strong in the 21st Century.
“The great success of this event is that it exhibits and showcases a lot more than individual stories. It shows us exactly what we can achieve if we work together as a community.”
Addressing the impact Brexit could have on agriculture in Kilkenny, he said: “The decision of the UK to leave the European
Union is one that’s going to create enormous challenges for the border areas and for the agri-food sector.
“It’s not a policy of our making, it’s a British decision and one that is unwelcome but one that we have to deal with.” He says the aim is to emerge from negotiations with the closest possible trading arrangement.
He added: “Farming is an essential part of the socio-cultural and economic fabric of this country.
“The budget that is coming in a few weeks time will bear in mind the potential impact of Brexit on particular sectors of the economy, on particular parts of Ireland and also the effect of sterling volatility on so many different businesses.”
Iverk Show chairman, Robert Dowley, says in Piltown there are 80 milk suppliers supplying 34 million litres of milk worth €10.2 million to the local economy.
He added: “This is all local industry, local farming and this is the heart of the countryside. This is why agriculture is so important.”