IFA urges farmers to boycott sale of farms by vulture funds

Farmers are being urged to effectively boycott the sale of Irish farms by vulture funds.

The Irish Farmers Association (IFA) says more than 2,500 farms across the country could be at risk.

The IFA estimates that around 150,000 acres of Irish farm land could be sold off by vulture funds.

It has launched a campaign calling on farmers, auctioneers, businesses and the media not to facilitate such sales.

"I'm a farmer and if I had a neighbour and he was trying to deal with the banks or the vulture funds and if that land was put up for sale I wouldn't be involved in the buying of it," said Pat Healy, President of the IFA.

IFA Farm Business Chairman Martin Stapleton says its about standing behind farmers who want to find a solution to their financial difficulties.

"We want the same rights for our members as the other sectors," said Mr Stapleton.

"We want farmers to have the option, where they're willing to commit to it, to have the option of paying that loan off over an appropriate time."

Sinn Féin's Finance spokesman Pearse Doherty says its time for people power.

"This is now for the community to stand firm and say that while you may try and repossess the lands, while you may try and sell them, we as a community, we as the Irish people in the history of boycott, we stand with the farmers in this case and we will boycott the sales."

The IFA says more than 200 farmers have also contacted its Debt Support Service in the last 12 months.

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