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Connacht Tribune

Forestry options to consider before BPS date

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BY NOEL KENNEDY

SINCE 2009, farmers who planted eligible land have been able to claim the Basic Payment (BPS) on the planted land and so make the most of this important annual payment. Receipt of BPS, in addition to the annual forestry premium, can help farmers to provide secure additional income for farmers. With the application deadline for the 2020 Basic Payment of 15th May fast approaching farmers may have questions on how forestry interacts with BPS.

I have land planted: can I draw down a Basic Payment on this area ? YES: Once a number of BPS requirements are met. To be eligible for a BPS payment in 2020, land planted in or after 2009  must satisfy the  following conditions: The land planted/to be planted was declared on a 2008 SPS application; the declared land was eligible for SPS in 2008; the area must have given a right to payment under the 2008 Single Payment Scheme.

Is there money out of planting? YES. In addition to receipt of the BPS on eligible land, a farmer can receive an additional annual forestry premium, typically ranging €510 to €680 per hectare each year for 15 years, depending on the land type and the tree species planted. On top of the forestry premium the cost of planting and establishing the forest will attract a generous afforestation grant which in most cases will cover 100% of the cost. (See contacts below)

Do I have to continue farming part of my land to remain BPS eligible? NO. Prior to 2020, there was a requirement for farmers to retain at least 10% of the eligible land area in an agricultural activity (by themselves or their predecessor) – subject to a minimum area of 3 hectares to be eligible for BP. This retention requirement does not apply in 2020. In addition, the 3 ha/10% retention rule is not required to ensure continued BPS eligibility for forests planted prior to 2020. Therefore, if an applicant planted land in any year between 2009 and 2019, they are no longer required to comply with previous rule (3 ha or 10% retention) in order to continue claiming BPS entitlements on the planted land. If they so wish, they can plant the remaining land in 2020 and claim the full BPS for this eligible forestry land.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Galway’s newest garden centre has arrived at McD’s in Galway Crystal

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Garden Centre in Galway City located in the iconic Galway Crystal Building

For over 10 years people have been flocking to McD’s Garden Centre in Loughrea to get the very best range for garden, home and much much more.

This weekend McD’s are proud to announce the opening of a brand new Garden Centre in Galway City located in the iconic Galway Crystal Building.

Nicely located with good parking and serviced by the 404 Newcastle to Oranmore bus, McD’s Garden Centre at Galway Crystal is a must visit location if you need anything from plants, shrubs, pots, garden furniture and more. They have a dedicated solar garden lights section, gorgeous array of water features and garden ornaments and practically everything you need for your garden.

Visit their Facebook today where they are running competitions and keep track of other promotions too. You can visit their website online at www.McDs.ie

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Connacht Tribune

UHG nurse battles for her life in ICU

Dara Bradley

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Leona Paula Leoncio...in ICU.

UHG remains braced to rapidly respond to any rise in Covid-19 patients as a result of a second surge – but the plight of one of their own colleagues this week showed just how precarious this pandemic can be.

Because while senior management at the Saolta Group vowed to stay ‘vigilant and alert’, a staff nurse at UHG was battling for her life in the hospital’s own ICU.

Leona Paula Leoncio, a 36-year-old mother of two boys, tested positive for Covid-19 last week, and was moved to ICU on Monday where she was intubated and ventilated.

The staff nurse, who had no underlying health conditions, is now battling for life in ICU at UHG, according to the Philippine Consulate in Dublin, which has urged people to pray for her.

Ms Leoncio moved to Ireland in 2017, with her husband and two children, to work in the country’s health system.

“We might have different faiths and beliefs but can I ask of you . . . to take a pause and say a prayer of healing and strength for her and her family,” said Chuck Giner, her nursing colleague at UHG, in a posting relayed on the Philippine Consulate’s social media.

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune – along with all of the latest news on the Covid-19 pandemic. We’re on sale in all newsagents and supermarkets, and you can also order the Tribune with your home delivery; buy a digital edition here, or avail of the new An Post service to deliver to your door at no extra cost to the cover price.

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Connacht Tribune

Gort boy reunites Tipp star with broken hurl from famous point

Dara Bradley

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Liam Linnane from Gort holding Brendan Maher's broken hurley from the All-Ireland semi-final club game. Photo: Hardiman Photography.

Tipperary All-Star hurler Brendan Maher has revealed that a young lad in Gort has found his long-lost hurl – the one he used to score one of the points of the last sporting year.

The broken hurl, the one that broke the hearts of St Thomas’ fans back in January, was used to fire over a point in Borris-Illeigh’s All-Ireland semi-final victory over the Galway club at the Gaelic Grounds.

Maher revealed last week that he tried to retrieve the hurl after the match to keep as a memento, but couldn’t find it. He subsequently got a letter from twelve year old Liam Linnane from Gort, who had found it.

“After I scored the point I got kind of carried away and I threw it over my shoulder into the open stand in the Gaelic Grounds. After the match, I thought I would really like to have that hurley but we could not find it and the club even contacted the Gaelic Grounds afterwards to see if it was found.

“Several weeks had passed and I’d given up on it when I got a letter from a young fella in Gort and I read down through it. He said he was twelve years old and that he was at the game where I scored the point with the broken hurley and that he had the hurley.”

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune – on sale in all newsagents and supermarkets, and you can also order the Tribune with your home delivery; buy a digital edition here, or avail of the new An Post service to deliver to your door at no extra cost to the cover price.

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