New chairman announced for Irish meat body

Meat Industry Ireland (MII) has appointed a new chairman. Philip Carroll is taking over from departing chairman Ciaran Fitzgerald in the organisation that represents the business interests of the Irish meat sector. 

Carroll is a former civil servant who has held senior positions within government, including assistant secretary general of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. His responsibilities have included animal health and welfare, and meat and milk policy.

He previously served as a diplomat in Germany where his responsibilities included advancing the interests of the Irish agri-food sector. During his career he also held senior positions in the Department of Industry and Commerce and the Department of Energy.

“Every year, the meat sector generates over €3bn in export earnings, supports rural communities and sustains the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people,” said Carroll. “I look forward to working collaboratively with all stakeholders in the sector towards the further growth and development of this very important indigenous Irish industry”.

Processors in Ireland welcomed the appointment, but there have been reported concerns among some parties in the Irish government about the potential conflict of interest of a recently retired civil servant now representing a lobbying group.

According to a report in the Farming Independent, John McGuinness, chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, described the appointment as “poor practice” that showed “poor judgement by both Meat Industry Ireland and Philip Carroll”.

Meat Trades Journal contacted McGuinness for comment but received no response.

In a statement, an MII spokesman said: “Mr Carroll is full aware of, and is compliant with, all relevant responsibilities and obligations on him as a former civil servant, in the context of his new role as a non-executive chairman of Meat Industry Ireland.”

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