Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Wednesday, 24 May 2023

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Farm Partnerships with Coillte: Discussion

Photo of Paul DalyPaul Daly (Fianna Fail)
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I will not need ten minutes, because I think we are all on the same page here today. My line of questioning follows on from the witnesses' comments at the start, and from the points raised by Senator Boyhan. I ask the following question with the greatest of respect, and I am on the witnesses' side, but in phrasing the question it might come across as otherwise. It is a devil's advocate type of question. Mr. Anhold is a solicitor. He is sitting with a contract in his hand and he is telling us that there has been a breach of contract. I am prompted to ask why the witnesses are even here. I know they want to avoid arbitration, but Mr. Anhold is telling us that in his legal opinion, that the contract has not been honoured. Not honouring a contract is breaking the law, basically. We are not a court of law. Senator Boyhan has asked what the witnesses are asking of us and what they think we can do. We will do whatever we think will help and we will pursue the matter as far as we can. However, I am almost intrigued that we have a solicitor sitting in front of us who is telling us that he has a contract in his hand that is not being honoured, which amounts to a breach of contract. I am not of Mr. Anhold's profession, but in my opinion that is a breach of the law. I am tempted to ask Mr. Anhold why the witnesses are here.

I have a couple of other questions before Mr. Anhold responds to that. Is there an association or representative body for Coillte farm partnerships?