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Galway DVO to be axed by Department

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Joe Healy

MOVES by the Dept. of Agriculture to move the administrative section of the DVO (District Veterinary Office) out of Galway will be vehemently opposed by the IFA in the run-up to the General Election.

Earlier this week Galway IFA Chairman, Pat Murphy and county Livestock Representative, Michael Flynn, met with Government East Galway TDs, Paul Connaughton and Ciaran Cannon to express their concerns over the proposal.

Michael Flynn told the Farming Tribune that it would be a disaster for Galway farmers, if they were forced to ring up an outside call centre to access data and information.

“We have 11,400 herd numbers in Galway, the highest of any DVO centre across the country. For Galway farmers with veterinary queries, having to join a phone queue behind other counties, is just a nightmare,” said Michael Flynn.

He said that Deputies Connaughton and Cannon had confirmed that the DVO administrative section was to move out of Galway, but this would be opposed vehemently over the coming weeks.

“ Make no mistake about it – this will be an election issue. What we’ve sought all along is the centralising of all DVO and Dept. of Agriculture offices and administration services in the Teagasc complex in Athenry.

“As things currently stand, the other Dept. of Agriculture offices covering such schemes as the BPS [Basis Payments Scheme] and Glas [environmental scheme] have moved to Athenry.

“Surely the logical thing to do here would be to move the DVO office to the same complex. It may require some investment to refurbish the necessary office space, but this surely has to be the logical way to go on this,” said Michael Flynn.

Currently the DVO offices are situated at the Dept. of Defence building at Renmore in Galway city with the public having both walk-in and telephone access to administrative staff.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

New class will showcase the very best of Irish beef heifers

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Minister Charlie McConalogue: New show class for heifers.

ALL Irish agricultural shows that have cattle on their summer programmes will now have a ‘Breeder’s Choice’ class, aimed at promoting quality Irish beef.

Minister for Agriculture, Charlie McConalogue, this week announced an allocation of €250,000 to fund the new competition for top quality beef breeding heifers over the next five years.

To be administered by the Irish Shows Association (ISA), the ‘Breeder’s Choice’ category will be broken up into two separate classes – traditional and continental breeds.

Pedigree as well as commercial heifers will be eligible for entry into more than 60 agricultural shows that take place around the country during the Summer.

According to Minister McConalogue, the requirement for four and five star in-calf or maiden heifers aligns to the aims of the Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP) and the incoming Suckler Carbon Efficiency Programme (SCBP) in the next CAP to increase the number of these heifers in the suckler herd. “Four and five-star animals in the suckler herd can bring greater milk as well as overall efficiency to beef animals.  The show network is the backbone of so many agri and rural communities,” said the Minister.

He added that there was great excitement with the return of the shows following the break due to Covid-19 and he looked forward to seeing quality heifers from Irish farmers being recognised and rewarded at these events.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Workers on farms are now entitled to sick pay

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Mary McDonagh, Head of Payroll Services at Ifac

FARMERS and agricultural contractors who regularly employ people have been advised to make plans for changes to employees’ entitlement to ‘sick pay’, set to be introduced later this year.

There will be a legal requirement on employers to provide paid sick leave for workers for three days per annum in 2022 and 2023, rising to five days in 2024, seven days in 2025 and 10 days in 2026. The days do not have to be consecutive.

The Draft Sick Leave Bill, now published by the Dept. of Social Protection, will mean that employers ‘will pick up the tab’ for a 70% payment of normal wages during this designated period of sick pay, up to a maximum of €110 per day.

According to Citizens Information, for employees to be entitled to be paid sick leave, they must have worked with their employer for at least 13 weeks and they must be certified by a GP as being unfit for work.

“Employees’ Sick Pay entitlement starts as soon as the law is enacted. This is expected soon,” according to the Citizens’ Information website.

Ifac, the agribusiness professional services firm, said this week that it would be particularly important for farmers and contractors to make provision in their budgets for the statutory sick pay legal requirement.

Mary McDonagh, Head of Payroll Services at Ifac, said that this year’s introduction of statutory sick pay was an additional cost that affected farmers needed to budget for.

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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TDs to be lobbied under the skies at Corofin

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Galway IFA Chair, Stephen Canavan

GALWAY IFA are planning an unusual lobbying session of local politicians early next week . . . under open skies rather than behind closed doors.

TDs, senators and councillors have been invited to the outdoor canvas of the politicians on the farm of Galway IFA Chair, Stephen Canavan, at Ardskeaghbeg, Ballyglunin, on Monday evening next at 7pm.

IFA hope to have a number of stands at the gathering to highlight the rocketing cost of farm inputs over the past year such as fertiliser, fuel and feed.

“We really are trying to highlight the financial pressure that many farmers are under, and we are pushing hard for a subsidy on fertiliser purchase.

“Last year, the money from the sale of two lambs would buy a tonne of nitrogen – now it takes seven lambs to make that same purchase. There is a compelling case for a fertiliser subsidy to be introduced,” said Stephen Canavan.

He added that IFA in Galway were pushing for a number of measures to be put in place which would target the farmers most in need of assistance.

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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