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Meeting to offer people a chance to tackle the ongoing suicide problem

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BY FRANCIS FARRAGHER

IFA branches and GAA clubs across the county have been invited to send representatives to a public information meeting in Balllinasloe next week on the issue of suicide.

With over 500 people losing their lives to suicide in the Republic of Ireland each year, a new group has been established in the East Galway area aimed at increasing awareness.

GELS – standing for Galway East Life Support – began just a couple of months back, with the aim of setting up a help and contact network aimed at tackling the scourge of suicide.

One of the organisers, Maura Canning of the IFA Farm Family Committee, told the Farming Tribune that the whole aim of GELS was to increase awareness of mental health problems and to remove any stigma from them.

“I suppose after such a difficult year in farming, many of us felt this Spring that many farmers were simply getting quite ‘down’ about the situation.

“The message we want to get out there is that it’s ok to feel down at times but the key thing is to talk to someone and to seek help. There is a lot of help and advice out there – it’s just a matter of accessing it,” said Maura Canning.

She issued an open invitation to IFA members, GAA members and the general public to attend next Wednesday night’s (June 26) meeting* in Gullane’s Hotel, Ballinasloe, at 7.30pm, which will be addressed by a number of guest speakers.

“I would just say to anyone interested to come along to this meeting, listen to what’s been said, ask any question they want, and take back to their homes and communities some valuable information,” said Maura Canning.

Galway IFA Chairman Michael Flynn said that the old saying about a ‘problem shared being a problem halved’ was never as important as it was today.

“We have 77 branches across the county and we are confident that our network of people can play an important role in getting the message across that there is help out there for someone who feels a bit down.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Anger over ANC ‘snip’

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Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue

ANGRY farmers hit out during last week’s Galway IFA at the Dept. of Agriculture over what they described as their ‘heavy handed tactics’ in docking BEAM penalties from ANC payments made last week.

Although Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue, has apologised for the actions taken by his Department officials, delegates who attended last Thursday’s night county IFA meeting in the Claregalway Hotel, hit out at what happened.

In some cases, according to Galway IFA Chairperson, Anne Mitchell, farmers who had already paid back the BEAM penalty also had the money deducted from their ANC (Areas of Natural Constraint) payments made last week.

Many farmers received ‘a shock in the post’ when their ANC payments were hit with the deductions of penalties from the BEAM scheme – earlier they had been warned of interest penalties if any balances weren’t repaid within 30 days.

At the core of the problem was the inclusion of a 5% stock numbers reduction in the BEAM scheme (Beef Exceptional Aid Measure) aimed at helping to compensate farmers for a drop-off in beef prices between September, 2018 and May, 2019.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Green Ribbon walk in Coole

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Galway farmers who took part in the IFA’s Green Ribbon walk

AT long last, it was back to the great outdoors on Sunday last for a party of Galway farmers (pictured) who took part in the IFA’s Green Ribbon walk at Coole Park, Gort.

It was all part of the IFA’s national day out at different venues across the country to promote the concepts of good mental health and people taking care of each other.

With the easing of Covid restrictions, IFA is encouraging families and individuals to get ‘out and about’ as a way of helping to relieving the stresses of daily life.

Close on 40 people took part in the walk through the beautiful grounds of Coole Park and it is hoped to have many more on what should be an unrestricted event next year.

Galway IFA Chairperson, Anne Mitchell, said that the walk to promote awareness of mental health issues, represented a return to some form of normality as Ireland gradually came out of the pandemic.

“It was a lovely event to promote mental health and wellbeing among all ages. Already we are looking forward to next year’s walk when we hope to have a lot more people taking part,” said Anne Mitchell.

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Connacht Tribune

Bord Bia say demand is ‘on the up’ for quality assured lambs

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Market growing for quality assured Irish lamb.

WHILE 95% of Irish beef is quality assured (QA) at the point of slaughter, the comparable figure for Irish lamb is only 60%, according to the latest Farmer Newsletter from the Bord Bia Quality Assured body.

It pointed out that while QA status on Irish lamb has been important on the domestic market for some time, there has recently been growing interest from key EU customers in securing quality assured Irish lamb.

“Purchasers of Irish lamb products are increasingly looking for proof that meat is produced sustainably on farms that are certified members of an accredited quality assurance scheme.

“Such a quality assurance scheme is to be based on sustainability principles incorporating environmental, social and economic aspects,” the newsletter states.

It also stated the importance of presenting lambs for slaughter that meet customer specifications as regards weight limits and fat cover.

The current specification from the major processors is generally for R grading lambs or better with a fat score of 3 and a carcase weight of 21kg, according to Bord Bia.

They state that upper carcase weight limits can vary across the year from 20kg-23kg, with ‘no economic sense’ in keeping lambs to heavier carcase weights if they can be finished sooner.

“Killing a lamb with adequate fat cover is also essential to meet customer requirements, and in recent weeks, some reports have indicated an increase in the number of under-finished lambs being presented for slaughter due to deadweight prices coming under pressure.

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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