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Greenway farmers seeking a ‘fair deal’

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A GALWAY IFA official has this week called for a more co-operative approach from the County Council to farmers and landowners affected by the Connemara Greenway project.

In the Greenway project, the Council have been charged with the development of a walkway cum cycle path from Oughterard to Clifden, for the most part along the track of the old railway line that operated there.

However Galway-Mayo IFA Regional Officer, Roy O’Brien told the Farming Tribune that while the vast majority of landowners were in favour of the project, some of them had been taken aback by the approach of the County Council.

“I think that co-operation with the farmers and the landowners should at all times be the policy rather than using the threat of CPOs (compulsory purchase orders) to take the land,” said Roy O’Brien.

He said that it would be important for the Council to get the trust of the local landowners in a project that would have major implications in terms of land access and usage over the coming years.

“I know from recent meetings in the Connemara area that some landowners are not happy with the approach being taken by the Council.

“These aren’t people that are opposed to the project but they want to be treated in a fair and open fashion by the Council. I think that this is a very reasonable expectation,” said Roy O’Brien.

The purpose of the Greenway project is to provide all members of the local community and visitors alike with a safe and accessible way of using the dismantled railway line for walking and cycling.

It is being developed with the aid of community groups in Clifden, Recess and Oughterard with the support of Failte Ireland, Galway Co. Council and Forum Connemara Ltd.

Meanwhile a Tuam councillor is proposing that the unused railway line between Tuam and

Athenry, via Ballyglunin, should now be developed into a North Galway greenway walkway and cycle path.

Cllr. Shaun Cunniffe said this week that the conversion could be completed for a cost of about €500,000.

Connacht Tribune

Query over Department’s BVD Stats

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Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue

ALL may not be as the Dept. of Agriculture is painting it in relation to the prevalence of BVD in herds, according to a North Galway farmer who has contacted the Farming Tribune.

The farmer, from the Caltra area, who has a herd of 25 sucklers with no recent buy-ins, said that in the past year he had to have three calves put down due to BVD.

He said that while the Department of Agriculture were trying to paint a picture of BVD almost being eliminated from the national herd, this wasn’t the reality on the ground.

“This just isn’t the case on my farm – I now of other farmers who have lost animals due to BVD,” the farmer stated.

He said that he wanted to put the record straight as regards claims from Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue, who had claimed that Ireland was now close to achieving ‘the goal of BVD freedom’.

BVD (Bovine Viral Diarrhoea) was first recognised as a major disease problem in Irish herds when the first year of the BVD programme started.

According to the Minister for Agriculture, the incidence of the virus in tested animals stood at 0.66% while in 2022, this had dropped to 0.03%.

Galway IFA Chair, Stephen Canavan, said that while the overall national trend in the incidence of BVD was very encouraging, there could still be pockets of the disease in herds.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Angus breeders to hold charity auction of semen this weekend

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No shortage of bull at weekend charity online auction of Angus straws.

IT’S no cock-and-bull story as a novel auction this weekend hopes to raise thousands of euros . . . by selling semen.

Well over 100 lots of the semen – all generously donated by elite Aberdeen Angus bulls – will come under the hammer in the online auction.

The main organiser of the auction is Westmeath’s Colin Duffy of the renowned Kilgarvin Angus Herd with the help of other top breeders.

In total, 117 straws from 45 top Angus bulls will ‘come under the hammer’ in the auction which runs from 1pm on this Friday, Jan. 27 to 7pm on Monday, Jan. 30.

MartEye, the online marts’ sales service, along with Mid-Tipp Marts, will be the official host of the event which is set to benefit two very worthwhile charities.

All proceeds will go to the Irish Community Ambulance service – and Bumbleance, The Children’s National Ambulance Service.

Along with Kilgarvin Angus straws, Jim Dockery’s Towras; Michael Dullea’s Deelishs and Stuart McKeague’s Angus semen will be available to bid on over the weekend.

Also involved in the project is Catherina Cunnane, Editor of the ‘That’s Farming’ news website while AI (artificial insemination) companies are also supporting the charity fundraiser.

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

Sheep farmers facing a disaster

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IFA National Sheep Chair, Kevin Comiskey

THOUSANDS of sheep farmers across the western region are facing into a severe income crisis with lamb prices down by around €1 per kg, as compared to this time last year.

The drop in prices – which started to click in since mid-December – has also coincided with a steep rise in input costs, especially feed and ration over the past year.

Farm representatives have called on the factories to show ‘a responsible approach’ in trying to keep a floor on prices as the downward trend continues to bite through the first half of January.

IFA National Sheep Chair, Kevin Comiskey, said the Department’s Annual Review and Outlook 2022 had clearly set out the crisis facing sheep farms as market prices failed to reflect the higher production costs on farms.

Lamb quotes at the factories in mid-January have been coming in at around the €6.20/€6.30 (tops) per kg – this time last year the equivalent figure was €7.20/€7.30 per kg.

According to IFA representatives, demand for lamb at the meat plant seems ‘slow’ with a surplus of New Zealand lamb cited as one of the reasons for the lull in the market.

Galway IFA Chair, Stephen Canavan, told the Farming Tribune, that on average, lamb prices were back by around €20 per head, as compared to this time last year.

He said that the sluggish market for lambs in Ireland was being mirrored in the UK, but French farmers were enjoying a buoyant trade with average prices of €8 per kg.

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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