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In the end, it turned out to be a run-of-the-mill January

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Spring is here . . . A flock of gulls enjoy the 'worm party' as a farmer ‘breaks the soil’ at Tawin Island, Maree, Oranmore, on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. PHOTO: BERNIE DONOHUE.

Country Living with Francis Farragher

Despite the odd cold few days here and there, rather dire predictions of a vicious arctic winter to descend upon us, seem to have proven to be largely unfounded.

November was barely under way when every second prediction was of awful times to come – from so called weather bombs to the arrival of a polar vortex – that would make all our lives hell (or the freezing equivalent of it), for the rest of the winter.

New Zealander Ken Ring, who admittedly was on something of a good run with his predictions for our last two summers, was not as lucky with his winter forecasts.

He didn’t go for the White Christmas, but he predicted the first 20 days of January to be very dry and very cold with the mercury dropping down regularly to the -4°/-5° Celsius mark, while after the new moon of January 20/21, we were to warm up.

I’m sorry to disappoint fans of the canny New Zealander, but the reality was far different in Galway and across Ireland for the month, as a perusal of some of the statistics reveal.

The first two weeks of the month were in fact quite wet, with Abbeyknockmoy weather recorder Brendan Geraghty showing the two wettest days of the month occurring on the 12th (0.65 inches of rainfall) and on the 8th (0.68 inches). In fact he recorded 15 wet days in a row from the 1st to the 15th.

As for us all freezing to death during those early weeks of January, the period produced some extremely mild days as we came under the influence of a damp but very mild south-westerly airflow.

According to the Met. Eireann, January 2015 weather report, some of the highest temperatures of recent years were recorded on days during the early part of the month.

The highest temperature of the month was recorded at Oak Park in Carlow on the Friday of January 9 (a balmy 16.2°C) while on the same day, Shannon Airport had its mildest January day in 22 years, when the thermometer touched 14.7° C.

Temperature wise, there was a cold snap between January 17 and 19, when the when the coldest night/morning of the month was at the Dunsany Met. Eireann station in Co. Meath, when an air reading of -6.2°C was recorded.

Overall, according to the Met. Eireann report, the average temperature for January came in, near or slightly below, the average for the month.

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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