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Crime text alert set to expand

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Pictured in Ballinasloe Mart at the IFA/Garda security/crime prevention and safety initiative were: John Scully, Paddy Flanagan, Maura Canning and Joe Dunleavy.

GARDAI in Galway with the support of IFA and other community groups are hoping to have a crime text alert system up and running in almost all parts of the county before the end of the year.

With increasing concerns being expressed over rural criminality, Gardai in Galway have confirmed that the text alert network should be covering most of the county by the end of the year.

Galway Crime Prevention Offficer, Sergeant Pat Flanagan, told the Farming Tribune that they were 100% supportive of the text alert system that could be an invaluable help in crime prevention across the county.

“The system is already up and running in different parts of the county and we hope with the help of organisations like the IFA and other community groups to extend it all across Galway,” said Sgt. Flanagan.

He said that regardless of what manpower was available there could never be a Gardai presence everywhere – but what would make a huge difference would be a quick and accurate information feed to the Gardai via the text alert system.

“The one thing I would like to emphasise is that members of the public should never, ever be in any way reluctant to make contact with the Gardai if they are suspicious of something.

“So what, if it turns out to be completely innocent – that’s absolutely no problem to us. But there could be that one text in 10 where a criminal act may be in progress or being planned – that’s where this service can make a huge difference,” said Sgt. Flanagan.

Maura Canning, of Galway IFA and National Chairperson of the Association’s Farm Family and Social Affairs Committee, said that they were fully committed to delivering the text alert network to every branch across the county.

She said that over recentr weeks, the IFA along with the Gardai, had met with farmers at Ballinsloe Mart to discuss security issues (as well as health and safety) and had received a good response.

“It is our intention over the coming months that we will visit every mart in the county to deliver advice and tips on security and crime prevention and also farm safety,” said Maura Canning.

According to Sgt. Flanagan, the Gardai were also hoping to provide an information flow back to the text alert groups, either to reassure them that for example a particular caller to a house might be a relative, of if there was something that needed further investigation.

“Really the key to all of this is the quick and accurate flow of information from the community to the Garda – once we get that, it will be one of the most effective crime prevention measure to come into the West of Ireland,” said Sgt. Flanagan.

Connacht Tribune

Flexibility and budget worries over direction of new scheme

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Michael Biggins: Disappointed at scheme.

THE new ACRES (Agri Climate Rural Environment Scheme) due to be rolled out on January 1 next is ‘restrictive and complicated’ according to West of Ireland farming representative.

IFA Rural Development Chairman, Michael Biggins, said that the proposed scheme was ‘far from a new REPS’ and urgently needed to be modified in terms of flexibility and budget allocation.

“As it’s currently proposed, ACRES is restrictive and complicated.  It will inflict more compliance costs on farmers, resulting in less income.

“The scheme is designed to discourage people from farming. In order to achieve the average payment, farmers will have to commit more land to lower levels of production compared to previous schemes,” said Michael Biggins.

He added that all farmers who applied needed to be accepted into the scheme while those farmers applying in 2023 would have to be paid in the same year.

Details of the €1.5 billion ACRES scheme were outlined by the Dept. of Agriculture in June with two entry streams – a general or individual one: and a co-operation model for environmentally sensitive area including Connemara and parts of South Galway and Mayo.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

‘Smart villages’: the way forward

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Pictured at the recent opening of the ‘Smart Villages’ office in Mountbellew were: Anne Kinsella, Chairperson of Galway Rural Development; Senator Aisling Dolan; and Minister for Rural Development and Social Protection, Heather Humphreys.

A RECENTLY opened Galway Rural Development (GRD) office in Mountbellew could be the forerunner to similar ‘Smart Villages’ initiatives over the coming years, according to the organisers of the scheme.

The Smart Villages initiative is part of the European Network for Rural Development, aimed at improving services in country areas such as health, social, energy, transport and retail.

The Mountbellew office was officially opened by Minister for Rural/Community Affairs  Heather Humphreys, who said that the initiative marked an important step forward in terms of rural development.

CEO of Galway Rural Development, Steve Dolan, said that last year they had picked out Mountbellew as their pilot location for the Smart Villages project which would offer a lot of opportunities for rural communities mainly through the use of information and communications technology

“Smart Village training has been developed and delivered, up-skilling many in the community in local development, connectivity, sustainability, and more. The opening of this office in Mountbellew is as a result of our shared efforts,” said Steve Dolan.

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

Anger as factories continue to chop lamb price

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Stephen Canavan: No reason for price cuts.

THE meat plants have been accused of trying ‘to make a fast buck’ on the backs of sheep farmers with lamb prices now back by a euro per kilo, as compared to just over a month ago.

Farm leaders have said that the factories are trying ‘to tough it out’ before more finished lambs begin to come on the market over the next month or so.

Galway IFA Chairman,  Stephen Canavan, told the Farming Tribune that there was no good reason for the chain of factory price cuts over the past five weeks or so.

“All the information we are getting is that the supply of finished lambs is still quite limited but the factories have obviously taken a decision to cut now, before the number of finished lambs increase through the Autumn.

“It’s just another example of the meat plants trying to make a fast buck at the expense of the primary producer at a time when input costs for farmers have never been as high,” said Stephen Canavan.

Lamb prices are this week hovering at the €6.50 per kg mark – down from a high of over €7.50 per kg in late June, equating to a price drop for farmers of around €20 per lamb.

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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