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A ‘half loaf’ for West’s hill men in revised RDP

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Brendan Joyce . . . Some progress made on RDP.

It could be a case of ‘half a loaf being better than no bread’ for Connemara’s hill/commonage farmers, following the submission last week of the Government’s Rural Development Programme (RDP) to the European Commission.

Over recent weeks the IFA had campaigned strongly for Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney to take out the 80% participation clause for commonage farmers wishing to join the GLAS environmental scheme.

However last week, Minister Coveney confirmed that he had decided to reduce the percentage figure from 80% to 50% – that 50% figure can either apply to the number of active farmers involved or the total land commonage area.

Farm leaders had also sought an increase in the commonage rate per hectare from €75 to €50 – again Minister Coveney came ‘part of the way’ bringing the figure up to €120 per hectare.

Connemara IFA Regional Chairman, Brendan Joyce, told the Farming Tribune that they were disappointed that Minister Coveney had still insisted on the 50% participation figure for the commonages farmers.

“It is just a question of fairness – one half of farmers on a commonage should not be penalised because of a partcipation clause like this,” said Brendan Joyce.

He said that the reduction in the participation clause was a step in the right direction but he said that this regulation wasn’t necessary in the first place.

“Another fear we have is that commonage farmers just won’t have sufficient time to get their plans in place before the normal May deadline, given that planners will first of all concentrate on the more straightforward individual applications.

“With that problem in mind, we will be suggesting that the Minister allows a six weeks window – after the first deadline – for commonage applicants who couldn’t get their plans prepared,” said Brendan Joyce.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

BPS cash being paid to farmers this week

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Anne Mitchell: TB costs need to be looked at.
Anne Mitchell: Payments cannot be held up.

THOUSANDS of farmers across the West of Ireland should have received 70% of their Basic Payment (BPS) this week, the Dept. of Agriculture has confirmed to the IFA.

The payments were scheduled from Monday morning last (October 18), although it may take up to three days before the money ‘arrives’ into farmers’ bank accounts.

Over 129,000 farmers across the country are eligible for the payments with the IFA urging the Dept. of Agriculture to ensure that ‘no one is left behind’ due to inspection issues.

Galway IFA Chairperson, Anne Mitchell, told the Farming Tribune that given the critical importance of the Basic Payment, it was vital that no farmer be left behind.

“In terms of cashflow and income, this is the most vital payment of the year for farmers. It is crucial for their financial survival and the last thing we want is for any payments to be held up.

“It is absolutely vital that there be no delay with this payment and where there are uncompleted inspections cases, we want to ensure that this isn’t a cause of any delay in these farmers getting their money,” said Anne Mitchell.

IFA Deputy President, Brian Rushe, said that with nearly 130,000 farmers from all over the For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

South Galway flood relief project won’t begin until late 2023 at the earliest

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Cllr Joe Byrne at Newtown in Gort where flood levels regularly rise by 15 feet over the winter months.

IT will be at least another two years before there is any prospect of machinery moving in to begin vital flood alleviation works in South Galway – a problem that has impacted on hundreds of acres of land.

More than 25 years after the area was described as a disaster zone following floods that resulted in homes having to be evacuated and animals rescued by boats, the situation is still critical, according to local representatives.

And it has been revealed this week that there is no prospect of any flood relief measures taking place in the Tarmon and Kiltiernan areas, amongst others, near Gort within the next couple of years.

Various reports that were due to be published last year – while public consultations were also planned but Covid has been blamed for these not materialising.

It now hoped that these reports will be available in the latter half of 2022 and that a final design will then be made, but works will not commence until late 2023 at the earliest.

Even if flood relief works do start, which ultimately will result in rising waters being released out to sea, they will take a number of years to complete.

Local public representative and engineer Cllr. Joe Byrne (FG) said that the farmers and residents of South Galway are still at risk of flooding for at least four, if not five years.

Few in the area will ever forget the scenes of boats being deployed to rescue local residents, their belongings and farm animals, when the flooding situation reached crisis point back in the mid-1990s.

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

Smiles . . . but little else for farmers

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Minister for Public Expenditure, Michael McGrath and Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe, before their presentation of Budget 2022 to the Dáil.

FARM leaders have described this week’s Budget 2022 as ‘underwhelming and disappointing’ for the Irish agricultural sector – with nothing new of any substance in the financial plan for the coming year.

The rollover of the different agricultural schemes – annually worth in the region of €600m – has been one of the few aspects of Budget 2022 that has been welcoming by the farming sector.

An overall budget allocation of almost €1.86 billion has been set aside for the Dept. of Agriculture next year in addition to almost €1.2 billion of EU direct-payment funding.

The farming sector had sought to have a percentage of the carbon tax allocated for the setting up of a new REPS II type environmental scheme – however, this hasn’t happened.

Chair of the IFA’s National Farm Business Committee, Rose Mary McDonagh, told the Farming Tribune that there was really nothing of any significance in the budget for the farming commuity.

“There was a commitment in the Programme for Government that a percentage of the carbon tax would be allocated for the establishment of a new REPS II type scheme but unfortunately this hasn’t happened.

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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