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Cross-party group meets EU officials on flood solutions

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The awfulness of the winter floods is captured in this picture of a house at Cahermore, Kinvara, taken by Bernie Donohue. The water levels against the gable-ends of the house are quite staggering.

A CROSS-PARTY delegation from the West of Ireland this week met with senior officials of the EU’s Environment Commission with a view to clearing the way for much needed flood relief works in the region to go ahead without any further delays.

Midlands/North-West MEP Luke Ming Flanagan said that the purpose of the delegation was to end any confusion once and for all as to who is responsible for key decisions on flood relief measures.

He said that he had arranged for the cross-party group to meet with the Commission in Brussels this week and stressed that the flood crisis was at this stage ‘above politics’.

“The aim of the meeting is to emerge with a clear understanding of what can be done, how it can be done, where it can be done and by whom it can be done.

“Also we want to ascertain whether there are funds available for the work, and to find out how much money is there to be spent on these projects. At that point, hopefully, the work can proceed without delay,” said Ming Flanagan.

Because of the fact that the flooding crisis had now turned into a national emergency, there was a clear need, he said, for any meeting with the Commission to include all political interests.

Ming Flanagan said that over the course of the past few weeks claims had been made – and denied also – that various EU Directives had prevented ‘very necessary’ work from taking place.

Those invited to travel to Brussels include Independent TDs Michael Fitzmaurice and Denis Naughten; Fianna Fáil’s Barry Cowen and Sinn Féin’s Brian Stanley.

Last week Deputy Naughten called for a comprehensive aid package to help farmers who had lost fodder during the crisis or whose stock had to be relocated.

“We have now seen two ‘100 year floods’ in the last six years. We need to see real action on the ground from the Office of Public Works that can have an impact on the scale and frequency of flooding of communities in Roscommon, Galway, Leitrim, Longford and Westmeath.

“The time for studies is over, we need action immediately to cover the cost for those who were caught again by this flooding and we need to see practical solutions implemented without delay,” said Deputy Naughten.

Connacht Tribune

Key moves on animal transport get the nod

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MEP Billy Kelleher: Key amendments passed.

LOCAL and national farm representatives have welcomed the adoption of amendments proposed by an Irish MEP in relation to the transportation of live animals across the EU.

The amendments proposed by Munster Fianna Fáil Munster MEP, Billy Kelleher, means less severe restrictions will apply in relation to calf and pregnant animal travel.

In 2020, the European Parliament set up an ANIT (Committee of Inquiry into Animal Transport) to investigate alleged violations of EU animal transport rules.

The Committee concluded that EU provisions in the area of animal transport were not always complied with in member states and did not fully take into account ‘the different needs of animals’.

Last week, MEPs voted by 557 to 55 (78 absentions) supporting new measures to address animal travel issues, including lack of headroom, water and food supplies, animals for travel being transported, and overcrowding.

However, a number of Irish MEPs led by Billy Kelleher proposed two amendments to the proposals, which were accepted in the overall vote in the European Parliament.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

HSA blitz on safety with animals

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Cows are at their most volatile and dangerous at calving time.

A TWO-WEEK farm inspection campaign by the HSA (Health and Safety Authority) aims to highlight the serious dangers posed by animals during the calving season which is due to get into full swing over the next fortnight.

According to the HSA, while there was a ‘significant decline’ in farm fatalities during 2021, there were still far too many deaths in agriculture over the past year.

Three people died as a result of accidents while working with cattle in 2021, while of the 196 people who died in farming incidents over the past decade, 38 of those were in the livestock sector.

The HSA has asked all farmers to ensure that the following five questions are answered to their satisfaction when working with livestock.

■ Is there a plan in place to minimise the risk of attack?

■ Has an adequate physical barrier been established between the farmer and the freshly calved cow when tagging, treating and handling calves?

■ Is there adequate lighting in the yard and farm buildings?

■ Do you need help? Are the extra resources trained and experienced?

■ Are facilities and procedures adequate for loading and unloading animals?

Galway IFA Dairy Committee Representative, Noel Murphy, told the Farming Tribune that farmers always needed to guard against complacency when dealing with dangers on the farm and especially so with machinery and animals.

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.

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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

Farm buildings can be used as business hubs in rural areas

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Cllr. Declan Geraghty (Ind)

RURAL farm buildings should be utilised for small business enterprises which would supplement the income of landowners as well as creating some local employment in the process.

This was the view of the vast majority of Galway councillors who passed a motion that buildings directly relating to farming be considered for other purposes that would be financially advantageous to the owners.

The matter came up for discussion at a meeting of the Galway County Development Plan when it was suggested that the farming community needed to be allowed develop small business opportunities.

A motion from Cllr. Declan Geraghty (Ind) – deviating slightly from Galway County Council policy – proposed that they be allowed carry out businesses such as the servicing and repair of machinery, land reclamation, drainage works, and agricultural contracting was carried.

The motion added that this be allowed where it is financially advantageous to locate in a given area and where it would not have an adverse impact on the environment.

The Williamstown councillor said that it could result in hundreds of small business enterprises being developed out of farm buildings.

“At the moment they cannot get planning permission for such enterprises given that they are located in a rural area,” he argued.

He was supported by Cllr. Pete Roche (FG) who went further by saying that even the establishment of pet farms or animal farms that could be opened up to the public were also options that could be considered.

“There are farm families at the moment who cannot earn a decent living out of agriculture alone and would relish the opportunity to diversify,” he added.

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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