By Carmel Hayes
According to gardaí, about 50 tractors and farm machinery departed from Fr Browne Avenue, opposite O’Moore Park, at 11am this morning to take part in the IFA national Tractor Rally. The convoy travelled along the Abbeyleix Road, before turning right at the Abbeyleix Road roundabout onto James Fintan Lalor Avenue.
From there, the cavalcade moved along JFL Avenue to the Timahoe Road roundabout, where it turned right onto the Timahoe road. The tractor drivers then turned right into the Kylekiproe area (Dunnes), where the protest passed the town’s main supermarkets.
The convoy joined JFL Avenue at the county hall/ Supermac’s junction and then make its way back out the Abbeyleix Road, where the vehicles dispersed.
Portlaoise is one of 30 towns nationwide, which staged the demonstration, which aims to highlight the importance of commercial farming to the rural economy.
The IFA says the event’s purpose is to warn against the dangers in the current Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform proposals and the Climate Action Bill, which they claim could shut down commercial farming in Ireland.
It will be their first protest since the start of the Covid pandemic.
The IFA says that farmers are expecting “a good reception” when they make their way through the towns.
“The traders and business people in these towns know the importance of having viable farmers. Without viable farmers, you won’t have viable towns,” said the group.
Full report and more photos from the Laois IFA Tractor Rally in next week’s Laois Nationalist, on sale Tuesday in all local stores and online.