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Hill farmer picket at Enda’s office to continue

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Little Alison Walsh, throws a very cautious eye on the champion Texel ewe being shown by her father Thomas, at the Oughterard Show last weekend. PHOTO: TOM BRODERICK.

DISGRUNTLED western hill farmers have this week staged a picket at the Castlebar Office of Taoiseach Enda Kenny ‘for as long as it takes’ to bring about changes to the new CAP proposals that are due to click in over the coming months.

At the heart of the controversy for the hill farmers is the stipulation that there must be a 50% agreement level among active commonage farmers for inclusion in the new GLAS environmental scheme.

Connemara IFA Regional Chairman, Brendan Joyce, told the Farming Tribune that the picket on the Taoiseach’s Castlebar Office would continue until basic and reasonable demands put forward by the hill farmers were met.

He also stressed that the ‘sticking points’ for hill farmers were not just in relation to the GLAS scheme saying that they also had implication for the Single Farm Payment.

“We had 1,700 farmers turning out for a meeting in Westport last month and this shows the importance, and the depth of feeling, that’s out there on these issues.

“In terms of the Commonage Framework Plan we have no problem in putting certain measures in place but these must be done over the course of the GLAS plan, but they mustn’t be used to prevent people getting into GLAS in the first place,” said Brendan Joyce.

He said that even from a practical point of view there just wouldn’t be enough planners to deal with the level of applications from the hill/commonage farmers to get into the GLAS scheme.

“This 50% collective agreement clause is not being sought by Europe and is something brought in by the Minister that can be removed. Farmers who want to get into the GLAS scheme cannot be held back by such a measure,” said Brendan Joyce.

Hill farmers also want the minimum/maximum stocking requirements to be addressed with a minimum stocking rate of 0.05 livestock units per hectare put in place – this equates to one ewe per three hectares of land.

Over recent weeks the hill/commonage issue has led to a major rift developing between the hill farmers and the senior IFA hierarchy.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Looking into the future

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Stephen Canavan: Open invitation to attend information meetings.

CHANGING times in farming and fears about the future has prompted Galway IFA to hold a series of meetings across the county over the coming week.

Concerns over the new environmental scheme; Budget changes; the carbon emissions issue; the new CAP (Common Agricultural Policy); nitrates; spiralling input costs; as well as other local issues, will be dealt with at the three meetings.

The first of the meetings takes place in Loughrea on Monday night next (Oct. 10); the Ard Rí House Hotel in Tuam on Tuesday night (Oct. 11; and the Lake Hotel Oughterard, on Wednesday night (Oct. 12). All the meetings start at 8.30pm.

Galway IFA Chairman, Stephen Canavan, said that the main purpose of the meetings was to try and keep farmers fully informed and ‘up-to-speed’ with a range of issues that were of crucial importance to their future.

He also told the Farming Tribune that the range and complexity facing farmers at present was causing anxiety among the farming community during what were very uncertain times.

“We want to try and ensure that West of Ireland farmers are up-to-date and well-informed as to the issues that they are facing and what could be coming down the track.

“I am encouraging farmers who may not have the full facts on issues to attend and raise their concerns on any topic they wish.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Accidents on farms ‘far higher than stats’

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Peter Gohery, Galway IFA Rural Development Rep

TEAGASC statistics of 4,500 non-fatal farm accidents every year are probably only a fraction of the true figure, according to a Galway farmer and IFA representative.

Eyrecourt’s Peter Gohery and Galway IFA Rural Development Rep told the Farming Tribune that many injuries suffered on farms were not being reported as farm related.

“Maybe there’s a stigma there about being injured on a farm but we do need to get the true statistics out there about the number of injuries that are actually happening on farms.

“I know from speaking to doctors and consultants that many patients presenting with injuries suffered on farms are for some reason reluctant to say that it happened on the farm,” Peter Gohery told the Farming Tribune.

In last week’s Budget 2023, Minister of State at the Dept. of Agriculture, Martin Heydon, confirmed that the Department’s budget for farm safety was being increased to €2.5 million in 2023.

“Unfortunately, 10 people have lost their lives in fatal farm incidents this year. That is 10 too many – 10 farms, families, and communities left devastated.

“We know farm safety is inextricably linked to farmer health and wellbeing. That is why I plan to extend the On Feirm Ground initiative from farms advisors to other professionals working with farmers next year,” said Minister Heydon.

He added that he also wanted to prioritise getting more physical safety infrastructure onto farm with plans for a 60% grant rate in TAMS for farm safety investments.

Minister Heydon said that the more recent figures from Teagasc indicated at least 4,500 non-fatal accidents occurring on farms each year in the Republic of Ireland.

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

Ballinasloe to celebrate 300-years of fairs

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Niall Clarke, Kevin Murray, Sinead Manning, Thomas Gullane, Maeve Keegan, Kieran Egan, Ciara Croffey, Mary Phelan & Mal Croffey at the launch of the Ballinasloe Fair & Festival 2022.

THREE hundred years of horse fairs in Ballinasloe will be celebrated this coming weekend when the event returns following the Covid interruption of recent years.

The main equestrian days of the show are on this coming Saturday, Sunday and Monday with the Fairgreen being the place to be this weekend with every breed of horse and pony on display.

Connemaras, Trotting Ponies and Irish Draughts will all be featuring but apart from the horses, there’s also a full line-up of entertainment events.

Fun events, street stalls, fireworks, tug-o-war, street and vintage parades, arts and crafts, music and children’s events will all feature strongly over the weekend and into next week.

The fair is expected to attract in the region of 85,000 visitors from October 2 to 9, for an event that dates back to the early 1700s.

According to the fair organisers, while there is little detail available about the early days of the fair, the London Times reported in the late 1700s that the fair sold over 65,000 sheep and 6,500 cattle.

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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