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Tensions prompt a ‘time out’ as IFA awaits new leader

Francis Farragher

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THE Galway IFA AGM, that will select the next county chairman for the coming four years, will not now be held until the end of March, following tensions that have emerged over recent weeks.

Initially it had been hoped to hold the AGM before the end of February but the date has now slipped back to either Monday, March 24 or 31.

‘Divided camps’ within the county in the recent national presidential elections have led to an element of division within the IFA in Galway, according to a number of members who contacted the Farming Tribune.

As of this week, only one candidate – Ardrahan’s Pat Murphy – has nailed his colours to the mast in going for the chairman’s job, being vacated next month by Michael Flynn, as his four year term comes to an end.

There had been some speculation that a branch colleague of Pat Murphy’s – Michael Kelly – could also be throwing his hat into the ring for the ‘chair’ but there has been no confirmation of this.

This week, Pat Murphy told the Farming Tribune that he had already visited about 60 of the county’s 77 branches and that he intended to meet all of them before the AGM.

“At the moment, there are three big issues facing farmers in Galway – the factories’ ongoing manipulation of beef prices; CAP details and the whole entitlements issue as well as the flooding problem affecting tens of thousands of acres across the county,” said Pat Murphy.

Prior to the national presidential elections, there was also the Galway IFA vote for the Connacht Vice-Presidency (now the Regional Chairman) late last year, with Tom Turley winning that contest against current County Chairman, Michael Flynn.

According to a number of IFA sources in Galway, the two votes have ‘taken a toll’  in terms of the unity of the organisation in Galway – with the stalling of the AGM, giving time to the different parties to ‘cool off’.

There also had been some speculation that a ‘more senior figure’ in Galway IFA could be nominated as a ‘unity candidate’ for the chair, but so far there doesn’t seem to have been any support for this move.

The ‘men for the jobs’ positions won’t become much clearer until nomination papers have been sent out to the branches and returned.

As well as the chairman’s position, the vice-chair will also be left vacant as Michael Kelly completes his four year term while other vacancies will occur in the livestock committee, the farm family committee and the National Council representative.

County Chairman, Michael Flynn, told the Farming Tribune that the election that saw him take the chair had also taken place in March and that there was no problem with the March date for this AGM.

“We’ve said all along that our meeting must be scheduled to ensure that our National President, Eddie Downey, will be in attendance. We look forward to having him there as our special guest on the night,” said Michael Flynn.

Connacht Tribune

New design aims to take the backache from those last scoops in feed bin

Francis Farragher

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Michael and Brenda Egan with their new ‘Tipsy Bin’ – designed to make life easier ‘on the back’ for farmers.

IT can be the bane of many farmers’ lives in their yard as they try to extract the last buckets of meal from their bin leading to one big stretch and at times a stretched back too.

Now, a Glenamaddy entrepreneur is fully confident that he has ‘cracked the problem’ after designing a meal bin that neatly leans over on a bevel to take the ache out of that final clean out.

A couple of years back while out on his brother’s farm, Michael Egan, noticed how awkward it was ‘to get to the bottom of the bin’ and in one of those Eureka moments he thought that there just ‘had to be a better way’.

An Operations Manager for Kingspan and Rom Plastics before that, Michael set about designing the new bin which also incorporates a flat base and a clever water draining hole to facilitate an easy wash out.

Along with his wife Brenda, they have set up a company called Megafab who are now distributing their new Tipsy Bin to locations around the country but mostly in direct sales to farmers.

“We are aiming to sell directly to farmers and feel that the bin at €299 (including VAT) is quite keenly price with a  small delivery charge, depending on location.

“Initially we had hoped to launch the product in March but then the COVID situation happened so we put it off until October and I’m delighted to say that we’re flying it so far. The bin is very practical and user-friendly,” Michael Egan told the Farming Tribune.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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

Organic farmers in West get €1.3m

Francis Farragher

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Pippa Hackett: More money on the way for organic farming.

CLOSE on 70 organic farmers in Galway will be receiving average payments of almost €4,700 under the Organic Farming Scheme (OFS), the Dept. of Agriculture have confirmed.

Minister of State at the Dept. of Agriculture, Senator Pippa Hackett, confirmed the start of €5.5m worth of OFS payments to 1,200 farmers across the country from Wednesday last.

She said that the advance payments were being made two weeks ahead of schedule, with the success of the scheme being reflected in a 50% increase in organic farming acreage since 2014.

Currently, there are 68 Galway farmers in the OFS scheme who between them will be getting payments of €319,041 this week, an average of €4,691 per participant.

Between the five Connacht counties and Clare, there are now 366 farmers participating in the OFS scheme bringing in total advance payments of just over €1.3m, an average of  €3,500 per participant.

Roscommon has the biggest number of organic farmers in the West with a total figure of 141 participants followed by Galway on 68, Clare and Leitrim 51 each, with Mayo and Sligo having 56 organic farmers split evenly between them.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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

New faces on IFA commodities committee

Francis Farragher

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A NUMBER of new faces will be elected onto the Galway IFA Commodities Committee in a postal vote that will begin next week and be completed by early December.

The most keenly contested position looks like being that of Rural Development representative with three candidates going for the job.

Eamonn Burke, Corrandulla branch, was the outgoing representative, but his term of office ends this month, opening the way for three new nominations.

They are: PJ Conroy, Looscaun, Woodford; Pat Flaherty, Oranmore and Peter Gohery of the Eyrecourt branch.

Rural Development is considered one of the more important positions in that it will be ‘fighting the case’ for the bigger spending areas such as REPS, GLAS and any new environmental scheme.

The other contest is for the position of Grain Representative which had been held by John Daly of Kilconnell, whose term of office is also up.

There are two nomination for this position – Eamonn Burke of Corrandulla and Mervyn Cooke of the Aughrim IFA branch.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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