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Galway vote vital as IFA go to polls

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THOUSANDS of Galway IFA members across the county have been strongly urged this week to turn out at their branch meetings and vote in the forthcoming presidential election.

Last time out, a huge turn-out at Galway branch meetings delivered a total of 184 votes – however this time around the vote is not expected to be as high as there is no election for the Connacht Vice-Presidency. Galway’s Tom Turley had no opposition for that position.

Both candidates for the presidential election to succeed Kilkenny’s John Bryan, are understood to have mounted strong campaigns in the county over recent weeks – the Galway vote, like the national outcome, could be tight, according to IFA observers.

The head-to-head battle to lead the country’s biggest farming organisation with nearly 90,000 members is between Meath’s Eddie Downey and Laois man, Jer Bergin.

Downey (51), a 140 acre tillage, beef and poultry farmer from near Slane is the current IFA Deputy President as well as being Meath County Chairman.

Bergin (49), farms 150 acres with his brother, including a 55 cow suckler to beef herd, a hogget enterprise and a tillage operation. He is the current Leinster Vice-President of the IFA.

The main campaign points of Bergin are: giving power back to the members; an improvement of the regulatory and inspections regime; a multi-national price guarantee for produce; more incentives for young farmers and more Government support.

Eddie Downey cites 20 years of experience working for the IFA at all levels as proof of a solid track record of achievement. He points to his successes in importing fodder during the Spring crisis as well as the improved VAT rate. He also is pushing for a ‘yellow card’ system of warnings in inspections.

Galway IFA Chairman, Michael Flynn, urged all IFA members in the county to come out and vote in the election and have their say in selecting the man that will lead Irish farming over the next four years.

“The IFA is a very democratic organisation and we are asking all members to turn out at their branch meetings and to exercise this right,” said Michael Flynn.

Last evening, Roy O’Brien, IFA Regional Officer, reported a very strong turn-out at the branch meetings held around the county so far.

He pointed out that four years ago, there were 184 votes in Galway and while the turn-out was unlikely to be as strong again, the county would still deliver a big vote.

Branches with up to 25 members at their meetings have one vote in the national election; two votes for 26 to 50 and an extra vote for each 25 members after that.

Galway has a total of 77 branches – last time out, a number of branches ‘pulled in’ three to four votes showing of between 50 and 100 members.

Tim O’Leary from Cork and J. J. Kavanagh of Wexford are contesting the position of Deputy President – the votes will be counted at the Castleknock Hotel, Dublin, on Tuesday December 17.

Connacht Tribune

Fair Deal reached as Bill is enacted

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Maura Canning: Good day expected.
Maura Canning, the former IFA Farm Family and Social Affairs Chairperson

RELIEF has been expressed this week in farming and political circles that at last the Fair Deal Nursing Home legislations changes have been passed by the Oireachtas.

The Bill went through the Dáil last Thursday and the Seanad on Friday, bringing to a conclusion a campaign that started back in 2012.

Maura Canning, the former IFA Farm Family and Social Affairs Chairperson, told the Farming Tribune there was a great sense of relief that a nine-year long campaign had at last got over the line.

“It has been such a long and difficult campaign to secure this deal with a lot of complications and obstacles along the way. At times, we seemed to be almost there, until something happened to hold up the process, but there really was a great sense of relief last Friday when the Bill at last passed through its final stages,” said Maura Canning.

She paid a particular to former Minister of State, Jim Daly; the current incumbent Mary Butler; and also to the many TDs and Senators that had been lobbied over the years on the issue. “No TD ever failed to return a call,” she said.

The key change in the new Bill is that there will be a three-year cap on the 7.5% annual contribution of the overall value of the farm where the farmer or their spouse is in a nursing home. There are a number of conditions attached to this CAP, the most significant of which is the fact that the farm must be signed over fully to the inheritor for a five-year period and this person must also continue farming on the land.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Stay safe on the farm

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GALWAY farmers have again been reminded during Farm Safety Week to ‘stop, think and slow down’ as they go about their work during the busy Summer season – and indeed for the rest of the year as well.

Roy O’Brien, Galway/Mayo IFA Regional Executive, told the Farming Tribune that too many farm families had been impacted upon by fatalities or life-changing injuries over recent years.

“In their daily work, farmers have to be a bit of everything from a vet to a mechanic to a driver of heavy machinery and often these tasks have to be carried out with no one else around.

“I think that this change of duties represents one of the big challenges to farmers in terms of their own health and safety. Every day can bring a new job and a new safety challenge,” said Roy O’Brien.

Galway IFA Chairperson, Anne Mitchell, said it was shocking to think that between 2011 and 2020, 21 children had lost their lives in farm accidents across the country.

“While children look forward to being home on the farm for the Summer, now is an important time to have conversations about safety.

“Tell them about the dangers and set the rules but don’t expect a child to take on the responsibility of keeping themselves safe. Children do not understand risk,” said Anne Mitchell.

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

Top ten steps to reduce GHGs

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Suckler herds: The longer they can be kept out to grass, the better it is for reducing emissions.

TEAGASC has outlined a 10-step programme to help beef farmers reduce their carbon footprint over the coming years as part of agriculture’s contribution to the cutting of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions.

Martina Harrington, Teagasc Beef Specialist, has outlined that 68% of all agricultural GHG emissions in Ireland are methane based while almost all the rest are nitrous oxide – less than 3% are carbon dioxide.

She explained in the latest edition of the Teagasc magazine, Today’s Farm, that methane is a by-product of the digestive system of animals while nitrous oxide (N2O) is a gas caused by the breakdown of nitrogen.

In terms of methane reductions, Martina Harrington, recommends more efficient suckler cows; better daily weight gains from calves; the possible use of feed additives; and an extension of the grazing season to reduce slurry volumes.

As regards nitrous oxide, she recommends a reduction in the amount of synthetic fertiliser to be applied by improving soil fertility, especially in relation to soil pH levels [liming].

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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