The nitrates directive was on farmers’ minds in Gowran Park in the latest IFA European election hustings.

Fine Gael’s Seán Kelly said Ireland “needs to approach this the way we approached Brexit, with a united front”. He and the Green Party’s Grace O’Sullivan highlighted how they worked together against Mercosur.

Candidates were divided on a 50% cut in pesticides, with Fianna Fáil’s Billy Kelleher, Independent Michael McNamara and O’Sullivan among those in favour, while the Green Left’s Lorna Bogue, Kelly, Fianna Fáil’s Cynthia Ní Mhurchú and Independent Ireland’s Eddie Punch were opposed.

While 12 candidates were present, nine had taken part in the previous debate in Fermoy. This meant some, including MEP Mick Wallace and Sinn Féin’s Kathleen Funchion, attended neither debate.