Taoiseach did not overrule agriculture minister on nitrates issue - Fine Gael TD

Farmers protested a proposed EU reduction to nitrate limits at political think-ins last week

Martin Heydon,Fine Gael minister of state at the Department of Agriculture (left) and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar (right). Picture: Leah Farrell /

The Taoiseach did not overrule the agriculture minister on the EU nitrates derogation issue, a government colleague has insisted.

Charlie McConalogue, the Minister for Agriculture, last week made clear that Brussels would not reverse its decision to reduce the volume of nitrogen produced per hectare in Ireland.

Ireland is one of three EU member states that is granted a exemption to enable some farmers to work to a higher nitrate limit than is applied in ...