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New bid to improve safety on Irish farms

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FARMERS in the West have been asked to fully support a new Farm Safety Survey aimed at identifying key factors that could help to save lives on the land over the coming years.

The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) have sent out 3,000 confidential questionnaires to farmers randomly selected from all over the country, in a bid to spot the factors that can lead to high risk situations developing.

Patricia Murray, Occupational Psychologist and Inspector with the HSA, who is steering the project, said it was important to stress that this survey was not about blame or identifying wrong.

“It is entirely confidential and there will be no follow-up contact. We believe that the information provided will prove very useful in supporting and informing the Authority’s role in promoting the benefits of improved health and safety compliance and performance for farmers,” said Patricia Murray.

According to the HSA, while the overall workforce engaged in farming is small (roughly 6%), farming still accounts for a high proportion of workplace fatalities (over 40% in 2012).

 “At this stage last year there were 11 people dead from farm accidents. So far this year there has been a large reduction in the number of fatal accidents occurring on farms, with just two fatalities so far this year.

“The Authority is cautiously optimistic, is in the past there have been large reductions in previous years only to be followed by significant increases in deaths the next year,” the HSA stated.

 Last week in the Senate a strong speech on farm safety was delivered by Labour’s Lorraine Higgins who said that a comprehensive farm safety campaign must be maintained on a yearly basis in order to address the unacceptably high numbers of farmyard accidents.

“By the HSA’s own estimate, during the period 2000 to 2010, 30% of child deaths on farms were caused by drowning in slurry pits. During the same period, 8% of deaths of elderly farmers over the age of 65 were caused in similar circumstances.

“The risks associated with slurry pits have regrettably been highlighted by the tragic deaths of the members of the Spence family last year, which we all remember. We need ideas to address this silent killer.

“It is imperative that the Ministers in the Department would direct the Joint Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine to summon the necessary chemical experts before it reports on the potential for development of a chemical that might go some way towards breaking up the slurry and relieving the farmer and his family from having to engage in this highly dangerous agitation process,” suggested Senator Higgins.

Co. Galway IFA Chairman, Michael Flynn, urged farmers receiving the questionnaire to fill it up and return it to the HSA.

“Anything that can contribute to farm safety, we support wholeheartedly. Too many farmers have suffered death and serious injury in the course of their work over recent years,” said Michael Flynn.

Connacht Tribune

Tractor run will remember a local legend

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Some members of the 10-person organising committee for the PJ Mahoney Memorial Tractor Run that takes place in Ardrahan on Sunday, December 11. (Left to right): Anthony Whelan, Brian Kilkelly, Declan Sylver, Patrick Mahoney and Aonghusa Fahy. Absent from the photo are: Mary Forde, Lena Taylor, Conor O’Dea, Gerald Harney and Mícheál Kelly.

THE PJ Mahoney Memorial Tractor Run will take place on Sunday, December 11, in memory of a very well-known and highly regarded figure within the Ardrahan and South Galway local community, who passed away just a year ago this month.

PJ Mahoney was steeped in farming and the GAA and for this he was known far and wide. He was a talisman for Ardrahan GAA, playing in goals for the senior hurling team when they won county hurling titles in 1974, 1975 and 1978.

All down through the years, he was a most dedicated and guiding servant to the club up until his untimely death in a road accident last year.

PJ farmed locally throughout his life and was well known as an agricultural contractor in both Galway and North Clare, a business carried on by his son Patrick.

There are many tales and anecdotes of PJ Mahoney that still bring a smile to the faces of those recalling them.

He was a keystone in the local community, the neighbour you could always call on, and indeed the neighbour that didn’t need to be called upon as he would turn up to help regardless.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

More info needed in land rezoning changes

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Albert Dolan: Start building houses for our young people.

A BIGGER effort needs to be put in by local authorities to notify farmers close to towns and villages – whose land is zoned as residential – according to a number of councillors at this week’s meeting of Galway County Council.

Independent councillor for the Athenry-Oranmore electoral area,  Jim Cuddy, told Monday’s meeting at County Hall that landowners should be written to by the Council to inform them if they had land zoned as residential.

“They should at least be informed that their land has been zoned as residential and will be liable for tax [3% of value]. Some of those people just don’t know if their land has been zoned as residential – they’re just hearing rumours,” said Cllr. Cuddy.

According to Cllr. Pete Roche (FG) there was an onus on the Council to get the information ‘out there’ about zoned land through the various media outlets. However, Cllr. Michael Connolly (FF) said that the issue of land zoning and tax was a decision taken by central government.

“This is national legislation – the local authority can’t be taking this on – we can’t be carrying the can for central government,” added Cllr. Connolly.

Cllr. Albert Dolan (FF) said that young people like himself ‘had damn all chance of buying a house’, adding that this tax wouldn’t be coming into force until 2024. “We need to start building houses for our young people,” he added.

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

Galway is top of the table for payments in GLAS

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Galway IFA Chairman, Stephen Canavan

GALWAY tops the league both in terms of payment total and farming numbers for the GLAS environmental scheme, the latest figures from the Dept. of Agriculture reveal.

Almost €13.7 million is being paid out in the 2022 Advance GLAS Payments to 3,951 farmers in Galway – averaging out at nearly €3,500 per farmer.

Mayo comes second on the payments list with over €12.4m being paid out to 3,683 farmers – equating to an average payment of just under €3,400 per applicant.

The importance of GLAS payments to the western seaboard counties is also highlighted by the fact that Donegal comes in third on the pay league, with €9.54m being paid to 3,026 farmers in that county – averaging out at just under €3,200 per applicant.

Galway IFA Chairman, Stephen Canavan, said that the uptake in GLAS across the whole western region highlighted the importance of the scheme to farmers in the more marginal areas.

“While we had hoped that the ACRES would be of a similar nature to GLAS, farmers here in the West still should definitely give serious consideration to applying for inclusion in the new scheme,” said Stephen Canavan.

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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