Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us

Farming

Man who has preserved a piece of local history fears for future of the region

Published

on

Leaving his mark: Seosamh Ó Suilleabháin beside the meticulously restored lime kiln on his family farm near Cill Chiaráin, South Connemara. PHOTOS: JOE O'SHAUGHNESSY.

SEOSAMH Ó Suilleabháin is a farmer from South Connemara who ‘has the land in his name’ but he firmly believes that he doesn’t own it.

A raft of environmental restrictions that have clicked into place over the past two decades has rendered his land ‘worthless and unsellable’.

He loves his native Connemara home and farm but is fearful for the future of the region believing that most of the ‘next generation’ will choose to live and work somewhere else.

Just a few weeks ago, Seosamh finished off a splendid piece of restoration work on a lime kiln that was built by his grandfather, Pateen Ó Suilleabháin back in the 1930s.

It represents the vibrancy and industry of a local village as his grandfather made a living from the sale of lime produced from the kiln near Cill Chiaráin.

With fertilisers scarce, layers of limestone turf were placed in the kiln to produce slabs of lime that could be crushed to reduce the acidity of the local soil.

“This land is in my name but I don’t own it anymore. I cannot sell it, I cannot build on it, I cannot reclaim it, I cannot drain it . . . all because of environmental restrictions,” he says.

A breeder of Connemara ponies, Seosamh feels aggrieved that this web of natura based restrictions now imposed on most of the land in Connemara will eventually lead to its demise as a place where people live.

Already he feels, that his own children and those of other families, will not stick around in a place where they cannot build a house or try to improve their lands.

“We just feel forgotten back here. All we’re getting is a few crumbs and there’s only so long you’ll survive on crumbs. The young people are going . . . and going fast.

“I want the politicians to open their eyes, both Government and Opposition. The poorer land and the poorer farmers are just not getting a fair share of the EU money,” Seosamh believes.

He fears that over the next 20 to 30 years, there could be ‘mass land abandonment’ in Connemara, and if that happens, the region will be denuded of people.

When he looks at the restored lime kiln, it represents a little sign of how people made a living in the area back through the ‘30s and ‘40s when fertiliser was scarce and money even scarcer.

“If there’s no living to be made in an area, people just won’t stay around. The schemes that they’ve brought in like GLAS have far too many conditions to work in places like this.

“We just feel forgotten and neglected back here. You see what’s happening with the air service to the islands – there’s just no respect for the people living out here,” says Seosamh.

For the moment, he’s delighted with how his lime kiln restoration project has worked out as it remembers times past and a different way of life.

“It’s a bit of local history preserved and that’s good but it’s the future I’m looking at and as things stand it’s not good for Connemara and the islands.

“This will be a sad place if there’s just a landscape left with no people living here. That’s my fear as I look ahead,” says Seosamh.

 

Connacht Tribune

Farmers are advised to get early advice on 2023 Nitrates Derogation requirements

Published

on

Tighter limits in latest Nitrates Derogation requirements. Photo: Courtesy of Teagasc.

MORE intensively stocked farmers – the vast majority of them in the dairy sector – have been advised by the Minister for Agriculture to ‘engage as soon as possible’ with the Nitrates Derogation application process.

Charlie McConalogue also advised dairy farmers who previously did not avail of the derogation to consult with their agricultural advisors – given the new excretion rate bands applicable to dairy cows since January 1, 2023.

The Minister added that the Nitrates Derogation provided farmers with an opportunity to farm at higher stocking rates without compromising water quality.

“The Nitrates Derogation is subject to certain strict conditions designed to protect the environment and meet the requirements of the Nitrates Directive.”

“All farmers have an important role to play in protecting our environment, particularly those farming more intensively.

“It is crucial that we protect and restore our waters as soon as possible to maintain the Nitrates Derogation at current levels into the future.

“Water quality is crucial to a healthy environment and farmers are keen to drive further improvements here,” said the Minister.

The Dept. of Agriculture has outlined the three bands applicable for dairy cows: 80kg N/cow; 92 kg N/cow; and 106 kg N/cow per year.  Previously, all dairy cows were considered equal in terms of a nutrient excretion rate at 89kg N/cow per year.

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.

 

 

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

Galway farmers to meet on crisis in sheep

Published

on

David Harney: Common sense has prevailed.
Galway IFA Sheep representative David Harney

GALWAY sheep farmers will get the chance to vent their feelings on the prices and cost crisis facing the sector at a meeting in Tuam next week.

The meeting – hosted by Galway IFA – will take place in the Ard Rí House Hotel, Tuam, on Wednesday, February 8, starting at 8pm.

It follows a national meeting of sheep farmers in Athlone last month at which the problems facing the sector in terms of declining prices, rising costs and lack of Government aid were highlighted.

According to Galway IFA Chair, Stephen Canavan, information provided at the Athlone meeting by Teagasc specialists indicated a profitability level of only €7 per ewe for sheep farmers.

“This is absolutely flabbergasting. No member of society could work 24/7 and expect such a miserly return. Government support for the sheep industry is essential now in order to preserve the sector,” said Stephen Canavan.

Galway IFA Sheep representative David Harney also stated that the recent government report into the wool industry had provided nothing to sheep farmers that would give confidence in the future.

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.

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

Query over Department’s BVD Stats

Published

on

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.

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.

 

Continue Reading

Local Ads

Local Ads

Advertisement
Advertisement

Facebook

Advertisement

Trending