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FF plan on flood relief for Shannon

Francis Farragher

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Geraldine Dempsey and Cian Carty from Craughwell at the Loughrea Agricultural Show. PHOTO: HANY MARZOUK.

THREE Fianna Fáil TDs are to bring a Bill before the Dáil aimed at alleviating ongoing flooding problems along the Shannon Basin, causing particular problems to farmers in Galway and Roscommon.

Deputies Anne Rabbitte, Eugene Murphy and Robert Troy will attempt to amend the Electricity Supply Act, 1934, in relation to the control of water levels along the River Shannon.

According to Deputy Rabbitte, archaic legislation dating back to the 1920s, was still being used to govern water levels along the Shannon with potentially catastrophic consequences for landowners and local communities.

“That legislation was put in place to cater for power generation in relation to the Ardnacrusha hydroelectric station.

“In 1932, the ESB were given autonomy in relation to maintaining water levels to fuel the Ardnacrusha power station. Now this only generates 2% of the national grid output,” said Anne Rabbitte.

The Bill, due to be tabled during the next Dáil session, is expected to be based on four main pillars:

■ The control of water levels at Lough Derg with the altering of weirs and embankments.

■ To make provision for the control of water levels on Lough Ree.

■ The control of water levels on Lough Allen including the dredging and deepening of channels and the reconstruction of the weir.

■ Altering, removing or reconstructing various structures along the Shannon.

Deputy Eugene Murphy, the Fianna Fail Junior Spokesperson for the OPW and Flood Relief, said that many farmers across western counties were still experiencing serious flood related problems.

“The flooding of turloughs throughout Counties Roscommon and Galway is still a major issue and in fact it’s very much the forgotten story as countless farmers and farming families are still under siege from rising flood waters at a number of turloughs in the region.

“These need to be included as a special area of attention and I am working on having this included in this new Bill to be brought before the Dáil,” said Deputy Murphy.

 

Connacht Tribune

Farewell to a real battler for farmers in the West

Francis Farragher

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Francie Burke: A lifetime of service to farming.

THE passing of Francis Burke from Kilconly earlier this month has been mourned by farmers across the county who remember him for his selfless commitment to improving the lot of those who work the land.

Known as Francie to many of his colleague and farmer friends, he passed away on September 1 last, after battling illness for a number of years, but through good times and bad, he was always to the forefront of farmer causes.

He was the Co. Galway Sheep Committee Representative from 2005 to 2011 and served as County IFA Treasurer from 2011 to 2015 – times when the IFA were involved in many battles to sustain and grow farm incomes.

As well as his farming interests, Francis Burke was also deeply committed to furthering the causes of his local Kilconly GAA club and the Fianna Fáil party organisation.

His great friend for over two decades in the IFA, Michael Silke from Eyrecourt – who delivered a touching graveside tribute at Francie’s funeral – told the Farming Tribune of the work he had put into securing the Sheep Welfare Scheme.

“This was at a time when we were being told that there was no budget and no money for such a scheme but he stuck with it, persisted all the way, and I would say almost singlehandedly delivered this scheme for sheep farmers,” said Michael Silke.

He also said that regardless of his political allegiances, he put in the same huge effort into lobbying for improvements to a whole cross-section of farm schemes including Sheep Welfare, Suckler, REPS and Disadvantaged Areas.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

‘Elephant’ in the TB room has to be faced

Francis Farragher

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Anne Rabbitte: TB 'elephant in the room' not being tackled.

A GALWAY Minister of State has called on the Dept. of Agriculture to address what she describes as the ‘elephant in the room’ in terms of the TB eradication scheme.

Deputy Anne Rabbitte told the Farming Tribune that while it might be unpalatable for some people to acknowledge, the role of wildlife in the spread of bovine TB had to be ‘faced up to’ and addressed.

She said that what had gone on in the Department over recent weeks and months with the publication of data on the herd TB status of individual farmers could not be justified, adding that the approach of the Dept. had to change.

“I know of farmers who are ‘in-test’ and who are now prevented from selling their stock in the marts or to other farmers – this is absolutely unfair to those farmers,” she said.

Minister of State Rabbitte welcomed the recall of the TB Forum by Minister Charlie McConalogue adding that it had to be ‘open, transparent and meaningful’ in its deliberations.

“There are also concerns as to how TB data was represented in graph presentations by the Department over recent weeks to convey a particular picture.

“At the moment, farmers are the ‘meat in the sandwich’ as far as this whole TB situation has developed – this is going on for the past 60 years and what has happened over recent weeks has been far from helpful,” said Deputy Rabbitte.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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

Marts across Galway have sales for heavier cattle lined up over coming weeks

Francis Farragher

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Fatstock sales being lined up at marts across Galway to encourage competition in the marketplace for heavier cattle.

THE IFA driven campaign to encourage farmers to sell their heavier cattle at the marts – rather than the factories – kicks off this weekend at Headford Mart.

Headford will host the first of the fatstock events as part of their sales programme on this Saturday, September 19, with at least six other marts lined up for further such events over the coming weeks.

Gort Mart will host a fatstock sale on Friday, September 25 followed by Loughrea (Saturday, September 26); Tuam (Monday, September 28); Ballinasloe (Wednesday, September 30); Clifden (Friday, October 2) and Portumna (Wednesday, October 7).

A number of other marts around the county, including Athenry, are also expected to announce dates for upcoming fatstock sales over the coming weeks.

According to the campaign to encourage the sales of cattle at the marts, Galway IFA have said that the events will give farmers the opportunity to sell cattle that are either under-fit or over-fit for the meat plants, resulting in financial penalties being imposed.

The also point out that the mart sales should be actively considered for the heavier cattle for the following reasons:

■ Payment is guaranteed.

■ Instant market prices.

■ Farmer can make the decision either to sell or hold.

■ Full transparency on AIMS (Animal Identification and Movement System).

■ Specialist buyers/agents will be at the marts to buy such cattle.

Galway IFA Chairperson, Anne Mitchell, told the Farming Tribune that there was a very solid market basis for farmers selling their heavier stock at the marts.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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