The Health and Safety Authority’s (HSA) plan for a 'blitz of farm inspections' in the coming weeks is tone-deaf given the enormous challenges facing the sector, Irish Farmers Association (IFA) president Francie Gorman has said.

"We need all planned inspections to be suspended in the context of the deplorable weather conditions on farms. Now we have the HSA announcing a ‘blitz’ of additional farm inspections.

"I spoke to Minister Hayden, who was quoted in the press release yesterday evening, and made it clear that these inspections cannot proceed, as they would be counterproductive regarding health and safety and farmer welfare," he said.

He continued: "The pressure on farmers is unprecedented, with terrible weather forecast for the next week.”