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Farming

Credit Unions can fill loan gap

Francis Farragher

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Michael Culkeen . . . Farmers are most welcome customers.

FARMERS finding it difficult to get credit from the main banks and financial institutions have been advised this week that the Credit Union outlets in Galway are ‘more than willing’ to provide loans.

Last month, the IFA – along with a number of retail concerns – said that farmers and small businesses were being denied badly needed credit by the main banks.

The IFA also accused the banks of imposing unreasonable conditions in situations where farmers had sought to put refinancing arrangments in place.

However this week, one of the region’s leading credit unions said that farmers would find that the Credit Union movement a very willing partner in terms of credit and loan facilities.

Michael Culkeen, Manager of Tuam Credit Union, told the Farming Tribune that many small to medium sized farmers had found loans difficult to access from banks.

“Many of these are people who have credit union accounts as they are. These are people who are honest, straightforward and hard working – our doors are open for business to these people,” said Michael Culkeen.

He said that through the thick and thin of the financial crisis since 2008, the amount of default in farming debt continued to be very low.

“While some of the bigger commercial farmers have been able to access credit, the smaller operator – with maybe 20 cattle and fifty sheep – has not been accommodated by the banks.

“The Credit Union movement want to get the message out there that if such members of the farming community want to finance some project, that we are very much in the business of being able to help them out,” said Michael Culkeen.

The IFA along with the Vintners Federation, the Property Owners Association and the RGDATA retail group, said last month that farmers and other small businesses were enduring high levels of stress due to the credit squeeze.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Don’t ignore Covid signs

Francis Farragher

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Pat Murphy: If you feel unwell, take it handy.

FARMERS who feel a bit ‘under-the-weather’ health wise these times – whether it be Covid related or with colds or flus – have been advised ‘to take things a bit handier’ if they can at all.

Connacht IFA Chair, Pat Murphy – who last week revealed in the Farming Tribune that he was recovering from Covid – said that farmers ‘not feeling that well’ needed to take it easy for a few days and to contact their GP if they had any health concerns.

“I was probably one of the lucky ones, in terms of the symptoms that I had being not too severe, but everyone is not that lucky – and remember this is something that can happen to anyone.

“What I would advise is to get yourself checked out if you have any health concerns or don’t feel well – then ‘take it handy’ in terms of resting and cutting down on your workload.

“The other key thing – and especially so for farmers coming into the calving or lambing season – is to have a contingency plan in place just in case you do get sick.

“In all probability, this will involve talking to one or two of your neighbouring farmers, and working out an arrangement to help each other, in the event of one of the parties falling ill.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

New TAMS tranche must include farmers left out of previous applications

Francis Farragher

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TAMS: New tranche has been rolled out.

FARMERS seeking grant aid under TAMS (Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme), who had been turned down in previous applications, must now be included in the new tranche (21), confirmed last week by the Minister for Agriculture, according to IFA Rural Development Chairman, Michael Biggins.

He said, that in the past, unsuccessful applicants had been carried forward to subsequent tranches, leaving them in ‘an uncertain situation concerning their investments’.

“All Tranche 20 applicants, including the applicants carried over from previous tranches, must receive approval without delay. IFA is urging the Minister to ensure that the delays in previous tranches are addressed.

“The problem of approvals will continue unless the carryover fixed. This issue must be rectified to avoid on-farm investment plans stalling,” said Michael Biggins.

Last week, Minister for Agriculture, Charlie McConalogue, confirmed that from Saturday last, January 16, Tranche 21 of TAMS had reopened.

“TAMS  has been hugely successful to date with over €265m in grant aid paid out and I would encourage all existing applicants with approvals to submit their payment claims as soon as they are complete,” said the MInister.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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.

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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

Family member can’t build house on home farm

Dara Bradley

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AN attempt by a farmer’s daughter to build a modest one-off house on rural land on the outskirts of the city has been knocked back.

An Bórd Pleanála (ABP) upheld a decision by Galway City Council to refuse planning permission to build a family home in Briarhill, on a site five kilometres east of the city.

The applicant Amy Molloy had been refused planning permission by the City Council for a four-bedroom, two-storey, one-off house at her father’s site at Coolagh, which has been in the family for seven generations.

In the appeal to ABP, the applicant argued that the City Development Plan “was never envisaged to preclude the seventh generation of a family from obtaining planning permission on their own lands”.

She said that this proposed development was “the only opportunity . . . to secure a mortgage”.

It complied with the Development Plan and the Local Area Plan, and was in keeping with existing dwellings in the area, she argued.

“The blanket exclusion from granting one-off housing would be contrary to proper planning and would be an infringement on the constitutional property rights for the landowner. This is an exceptional case and should be treated as such,” the appeal read.

The site is currently zoned ‘A’ Agricultural, which allows for residential development where a convincing need is established by immediate family members of the owners of the site, residing in the immediate area.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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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