Hill farmers in Connemara are intensifying their campaign for changes to a newly introduced agri-environment scheme.
A rule which requires agreement between 50 per cent of farmers on a commonage before payment can be drawn is the main point of contention.
Almost 100 farmers attended a meeting in Maam Cross last night and further action is planned.
A new agri-environment scheme under the Common Agriculture Policy is called GLAS and it comes with a new rule – there has to be agreement on how the commonage is managed between half of the active farmers who have a share before the GLAS grants is paid.
Farming leaders in Connemara have stated that getting such agreements is unworkable and that thousands of euro will be lost to local communities as a result.
One hundred attended a meeting in Maam Cross last night and Dáil politicians and MEPS have been invited to a meeting in Westport next Wednesday evening in an effort to bring the message from the hills to Dublin and Brussels.
Challenges as UHG faces overcrowding and Covid outbreak
Galway Bay fm newsroom – 52 patients are waiting on trolleys or along wards at UHG today – making it the second most overcrowded hospital nationwide.
21 patients are also waiting at Portiuncula Hospital in Ballinasloe.
The overcrowding comes as UHG is also managing an outbreak of COVID-19 on two wards.
As a result of the ongoing pressures and lack of bed capacity, a number of elective procedures are being postponed.
The public is being urged to contact their GP or the Westdoc GP Out of Hours service in the first instance if their health problem is not urgent.
Chris Kane is General Manager at the GUH group -she told Galway Talks it’s an extremely challenging period…
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Deadline for county’s streetscape enhancement scheme pushed out into early 2022
Galway Bay fm newsroom – Towns across the county will be given until the end of March next year to complete any unfinished projects under the streetscape programme.
Ballygar, Glenamaddy, Headford, Loughrea, Oranmore and Oughterard were included in the measure.
In assessing the scheme, staff reviewed a total of 236 applications and recommended allocations to 173.
The deadline has been formally extended by the Department to the end of December.
However due to challenging seasonal weather conditions and the availability of tradespeople, more time is being allowed meaning any outstanding work can be carried out early in 2022.
Director of Services Liam Hanrahan told a meeting of the county council that the scheme must be completed and reported on by May and all monies drawn down.
He advised that in the case of an underspend, a reserve list of projects will be examined.
The scheme was commended by many councillors and described as ‘transformative’ for many county towns where vacant units were painted and revitalised.
However the original timeline set by the Department was called into question by many.
Councillor Andrew Reddington says lessons can be learned by the Department on setting suitable timelines for such a scheme in future….
Wild Atlatic Way used as research model for development of marine and coastal tourism trails in EU
Galway Bay fm newsroom – The Wild Atlantic Way has been used as a research model to establish best practice for the development of marine and coastal tourism trails in the EU.
The research on the 2,500 kilometre stretch was carried out by a project team in the socio-economic marine research unit based at NUI Galway.
The Northern & Western Regional Assembly was also a partner in the two-year project.
The research forms part of the Moses Project which aims to further the EU’s Blue Growth strategy in five focus maritime areas.
The focus areas include aquaculture, marine and coastal tourism, offshore renewable energy, ports and fisheries.
The project, which is concluding this year, has eight partners in five countries.
The research stresses that sustainable coastal tourism can only be achieved through close collaboration at the community level and offers key recommendations for other European regions to consider if the sector is to lead to sustainable Blue Growth.