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A monsoon in the West

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The Abbert River overflows into the surrounding callows and countryside in Abbeyknockmoy on Sunday with the 12th century Cistercian Monastery, known locally as 'The Old Abbey', providing the backdrop. PHOTO: JOHNNY RYAN.

STORM Desmond that raged from last Friday evening through to the early hours of Sunday morning, brought one of the most concentrated periods of rainfall to the West of Ireland since records began.

The rainfall total for the Met Éireann station in Claremorris, South Mayo for the first seven days of December is already at the 131.8mms. mark (5.2 inches) with the vast bulk of that falling in the 36 hour period from Friday night through to late Saturday night.

Farmers and householders across the region have said that the severity of the flooding since last Friday was worse than the last major flood event to hit the region in November 2009.

All rivers across the county have burst their banks with tens of thousands of hectares of land under water – the worst affected areas are the Shannon Callows, the Suck catchment including Ballinalsoe, parts of South Galway, Portumna and the Abbert River catchment area in North Galway.

Desmond – only officially christened by Met. Éireann and the UK Met. Office through the course of Thursday last – left its mark with the amount of rainfall deposited, mostly in the western half of the country.

The trailing tail of the storm was particularly slow moving – stalled by high pressure over continental Europe – leaving a frontal system, containing all the moisture, hanging over Ireland.

Abbeyknockmoy weather man, Brendan Geraghty, collected almost three inches of rain (2.98 or 75.7mms.) from Friday evening last to Sunday morning.

“Over this period of time it was probably one of our most concentrated bursts of rainfall. That is the equivalent of every acre of land being pounded with 300 tonnes of water over that short period of time,” said Brendan Geraghty.

During the last big flood event in November, 2009, Brendan Geraghty, recorded 12.67 inches of rainfall with 4.42 inches of that coming in a three day period from Nov. 17 to 19.

In the November just gone by, the Abbeyknockmoy man recorded 8.18 inches of rainfall (208mms.), making it our wettest month of the year so far.

“The problem with last Saturday’s rainfall was that it had nowhere to go. Land was already saturated, the rivers were swollen and I can never remember the callows of the Abbert River being as flooded before,” said Brendan Geraghty.

If December continues on with its wet trend, then 2015 will turn out to be a very wet year only being ‘saved’ by four dry months – February (2.27 inches, 58mms.), April (2.46 inches, 62mms.), June (1.54 inches, 39mms.) and October (2.26 inches, 57mms.).

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Smiles . . . but little else for farmers

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Minister for Public Expenditure, Michael McGrath and Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe, before their presentation of Budget 2022 to the Dáil.

FARM leaders have described this week’s Budget 2022 as ‘underwhelming and disappointing’ for the Irish agricultural sector – with nothing new of any substance in the financial plan for the coming year.

The rollover of the different agricultural schemes – annually worth in the region of €600m – has been one of the few aspects of Budget 2022 that has been welcoming by the farming sector.

An overall budget allocation of almost €1.86 billion has been set aside for the Dept. of Agriculture next year in addition to almost €1.2 billion of EU direct-payment funding.

The farming sector had sought to have a percentage of the carbon tax allocated for the setting up of a new REPS II type environmental scheme – however, this hasn’t happened.

Chair of the IFA’s National Farm Business Committee, Rose Mary McDonagh, told the Farming Tribune that there was really nothing of any significance in the budget for the farming commuity.

“There was a commitment in the Programme for Government that a percentage of the carbon tax would be allocated for the establishment of a new REPS II type scheme but unfortunately this hasn’t happened.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Farmers urged to stand up and fight

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Out in force: Michael O’Donohoe, Abbeyknockmoy; Pat Gately, Kiltormer; Noel Kelly, Mullagh and Micheál Haverty, Clonberne, at last Friday’s IFA protest rally in Roscommon.

THE Government has been sent a strong message that they must ‘talk to farmers’ and not ‘at them’ following last Friday’s series of rallies across the country, according to Connacht IFA Chair Pat Murphy.

He said that many farmers across the West of Ireland – and all over the country – were now very fearful of the future given the lack of clarity, negotiation and information at what was coming down the track for them over the coming years.

“I’d put it like this. On Friday in Roscommon, I met many, many ordinary farmers who mightn’t have been at a protest ever before who turned out for this one. We were delighted with the turnout at the four venues across the country,” said Pat Murphy.

He said that the three main issues that kept coming up with farmers were the eco scheme elements of the new CAP; the future of the suckler cow sector; and the lack of ‘real negotiations’ that the Government had undertaken with the farming representatives.

An estimated 400 farmers turned out for the Connacht rally outside Hyde Park in Roscommon which followed on from the first early-morning gathering in Cavan.

The third ‘afternoon rally’ took place in Portlaoise while the biggest turnout of the day was in Cork for ‘the night event’, which attracted an estimated 3,000 people.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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Connacht Tribune

A battle for survival!

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Huge turnout sought for farmer rallies on Friday.

IN the weeks and months ahead, Irish farming faces one of its biggest challenges. The recently-passed Climate Action Bill means Ireland has to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 51%. This leaves the Government with one of the biggest policy challenges in the history of the State.

They selected this target without any consideration of the consequences for the economy, or for Irish farming. Shortly, the Government will publish carbon budgets, and Sectoral Emissions Ceilings. This will include a legally-binding emissions ceiling for Irish agriculture.

Because of this, every policy pursued by the Government is now designed to reduce output and hit our most productive farmers. This will have huge consequences for Irish farming. Already, the Government is talking about having a ‘stable national herd’.

There is no such thing as a ‘national herd’. We have over 100,000 cattle herds in this country, with an average of fewer than 70 animals. These cattle are owned by farmers, not the State. The livelihoods of thousands of farmers and their families depend on these herds. We cannot place a new quota on these farmers.

IIn the coming weeks, our Minister will also finalise his plan for Ireland’s next CAP programme for 2023-27. Based on the current proposals, 25% will be sliced off every farmer’s Basic Payment to fund Eco Schemes.

Many farmers will not be able to qualify.  Those who do, will suffer significant compliance costs. As a result, some of our most productive farmers will see their incomes devastated. These Eco Schemes are cuts, not ‘rewards for environmental actions’ as some in Government are describing them.

The EU rules allow our own Government to reduce the percentage cut for Eco Schemes below 25%. The Minister must pursue this and the schemes must be designed in a way that allows our most productive farmers to get a larger Eco Scheme payment.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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