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UK/EU deal on Brexit is best option

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Rowena Dwyer IFA Chief Economist speaking at the IFA meeting in the Lough Rea Hotel last week. PHOTO: HANY MARZOUK.

THE best Brexit outcome for Irish agriculture will be either the UK remaining a full member of the EU Single Market or in having a comprehensive free trade with the EU, Galway farmers heard last week in Loughrea.

IFA Chief Economist, Rowena Dwyer, told a meeting of farmers in the Lough Rea Hotel that a positive trading relationship between the UK and the EU after Brexit would be a key point for Ireland.

However, she pointed out that the whole UK Brexit issue was very politically sensitive in Europe with other member states not wishing to see Britain benefiting from their exit move.

“We obviously want the cross-border element of our trading relationship with the North continue and what we really don’t want are trade barriers between ourselves and the UK,” said Rowena Dwyer.

She also pointed out that the UK will still be part of the EU for the next two years at a minimum with the full and open market access remaining during that time.

Ms. Dwyer also said that while Ireland is not nearly as dependent on export to the UK at present than it was back in 1973, Britain was still ‘a hugely important trading partner.

She said that beef exports to the UK were worth €1.1 billion (50% of the total); dairy exports came to €1bn (33% of total); pigmeat, €350m and mushrooms, €350m (sole export market).

Rowena Dwyer outlined some of the key issues in relation to Brexit that would have to be addressed:

■  At present, there is no provision for the negotiation of a special Ireland/UK trading relationship.

■ Imposition of barriers [between UK and Ireland] such as tariffs, border checks and added certification would undermine our export competitiveness.

■  UK trade deals with ‘third countries’ could displace Irish product on UK market – this won’t happen until Britain leaves EU.

■   If no trade agreement between EU and UK is reached, Britain could opt to reduce tariff barriers for agricultural imports from exporting countries.

Connacht Tribune

Changes agreed on TB testing regime

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Stephen Canavan: Six months test proposal is not on!
Galway IFA Chairman, Stephen Canavan

A PROPOSED six-months testing requirement for all bovine animals moving herds will now only apply to cows and males over 36-months old, following discussions over recent weeks between the Dept. of Agriculture and the IFA.

Initially it had been proposed by the Department that the six-months testing regime would be in place for all animals from next year, but the ‘age compromise’ has now been agreed.

However, another major issue now needs to be resolved as to who will pay for a second test when it comes to the sale of the older animals through the marts or from herd to herd.

According to Galway IFA Chairman, Stephen Canavan, the compromise deal on the six-months testing requirement for the older animals – ‘while not ideal’ – was the best that could be achieved.

“The vast majority of mart sales or sales between farmers will involve animals which are under 36 months of age so at least some progress has been made on that issue.

“Now, the negotiations will switch to the issue of who will pay for any of the six-months tests where they apply, and the IFA are taking a very strong line on this.

“The agreement on payment always has been that farmers will only have to pay for one test per year and we will be insisting that this extends onto any seller who has to have a six-months’ test,” said Stephen Canavan.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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The show goes on . . . for the 183rd time

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At the launch of The Irish Draught Horse Society Show were: Seán McGuirk, Chairman; Elizabeth Dean Coogan, Council Member; Margaret Buckley, Treasurer; John Harney, Chairman Ballinasloe Horse and Agricultural Show; Cllr. Dermot Connolly and Maeve O'Meara, Secretary.

JOHN HARNEY from Mountpleasant first joined the Ballinasloe Horse and Agriculture Show Committee, all of 60-years ago, on April 24, 1962. Both John and the show are still going strong as they celebrate their 183rd event on this Sunday. Here, he looks back on his involvement with this iconic show through the years.

THE Ballinasloe Show back in the early 1960s was going well with both the Showgrounds and Duggan Park both used for running the competitions.

My first introduction to the show was stewarding the pony competitions in the Mountpleasant end of the Duggan Park with the rest of the GAA field being used for trade stands.

At that time, it was a very big show with horses, ponies, cattle and sheep, pigs and fowl – also there was a big garden and farm produce section as well as a home craft and baking section with flowers and plants supported by a very large women’s committee.

At that time, showjumping took place in the afternoon with the top riders in the country taking part.  I was elected Chairman at the AGM in 1975, a position I held for ten years.

During that time, the Duggan Park Committee approached the Show Committee for a piece of the showgrounds behind the GAA Stand for dressing rooms.

This was brought up a number of times at our committee meetings, and at first, the view was that the Duggan Park Committee would buy the ground.

However, after much deliberation it was decided by the Show Committee to ‘give the ground’ for the sum of £1 with the proviso that the dressingrooms could be used on show days by the local ICA to do catering for the event.

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

ACRES away from a proper scheme

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Connacht IFA Chair, Pat Murphy

THE new ACRES environmental scheme came in for scathing criticism at a Connacht IFA meeting this week with farm representatives describing it as being ‘choked with red tape and paperwork’.

Connacht IFA Chair, Pat Murphy, told the Farming Tribune that the scheme had turned out to be ‘a sore disappointment’ for West of Ireland farmers who needed a workable and practical scheme to ensure survival into the future.

“The money is not in the scheme; it’s choked with restrictions and rules; and at the end of the day, there’s no guarantee that farmers will get paid for the actions that they undertake,” said Pat Murphy.

Over 100 people attended the regional meeting in Roscommon on Monday night which was addressed by IFA President, Tim Cullinan and Director General, Damian McDonald.

Concerns were also expressed that not all farmers applying for inclusion in ACRES would ‘get in’ by early next year, due to budget limitations on the scheme.

According to Pat Murphy, the scheme is laden down with ‘bureaucracy and red-tape’ as well as putting obstacles in the way of farmers who were more than willing to embrace the whole principle of a proper environmental scheme.

“But even at this late stage, I still believe that practical changes can be made to the scheme which will make it more farmer friendly.

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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