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Farming

Unfairness of CAP distribution is still a key issue for INHFA

Francis Farragher

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THE ‘unfairness and inequity’ of the latest CAP deal that supported ‘large ranchers at the expense of smaller farmers’ was one of the main themes at the launch of the Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association (INHFA) in Westport last Friday night.

A number of politicians and INHFA officers who addressed the meeting slammed the manner in which the CAP funds were distributed with a small number of big farmers getting the largest chunk of the EU monies.

Fianna Fáil Spokesman on Agriculture, Éamon Ó Cuív, described the share out of the CAP funds as a ‘travesty and an injustice’ and called for the recognition of the INHFA as a consultative body on all future negotiations.

According to the INHFA, a crowd in the region of 700 people turned out for the launch of the new association at the Castlecourt Hotel with President Vincent Roddy stating that the large crowd showed the interest in the new organisation.

Brendan Joyce, Chairman of the INHFA Livestock Committee, said that one of the priorities of the association was the payment of a €30 top-up for hill ewes.

“How could that organisation [IFA] say boo to the processors while collection €6 million a year to keep some at the top of the organisation in clover,” said Brendan Joyce.

Brendan O’Malley, Chairman of the INHFA Rural Affairs Committee, called for changes to be put in place in the Farm Assist Scheme that wouldn’t adversely impact on farmers who wanted to improve.

He called for an extension of the Rural Social Scheme (RSS) and also attacked the Government for regulations in place that undermined the viability of many credit unions.

Connacht Tribune

‘Sit tight’ on Ulster accounts is advice

Francis Farragher

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Rose Mary McDonagh: Bide your time with Ulster Bank.

“SIT tight and bide your time” – that’s the advice to farmer customers of Ulster Bank – following confirmation last week from the bank’s parent company NatWest that operations in the Republic of Ireland will be wound up over the next few years.

Headford’s Rose Mary McDonagh – the IFA’s National Farm Business Chairperson – told the Farming Tribune that the last thing any customer should do was to leave the bank and try and work out their own deal.

It is estimated that there are 10,000 farmers across the country with borrowings from Ulster Bank and a further 10,000 with current accounts – in Galway, the bank has branches in the city, Tuam and Athenry as well as in Claremorris, Athlone and Ennis.

“Customers who have tracker mortgages or terms loans with Ulster Bank will be entitled to exactly the same terms and conditions when their loans are transferred to what we hope will be one of the pillar banks here in Ireland.

“Effectively there should be three options open to Ulster Bank in terms of their loan book transfer – to Bank of Ireland, AIB or Permanent TSB. Under no circumstances do we want to hear of any vulture fund involvement,” said Rose Mary McDonagh.

She said that IFA would be keeping a ‘very close watch’ to ensure that the Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe, and the Central Bank, would not take their eyes off the ball in terms of the Ulster Bank wind down in the Republic.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Don’t miss Greenway deadline!

Francis Farragher

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The five potential walkway/cycleway routes from Athlone to Galway city. The preferred route will be selected later this year.

FARMERS and landowners along the five possible Greenway routes between Athlone and Galway city have been strongly advised to get in touch with the project office in Ballinasloe before Monday next, March 1 – the deadline for submissions.

Henry Walsh, Galway IFA Environment Rep, told the Farming Tribune, there was real concern that a cohort of farmers could miss out on the consultations because of the lack of face-to-face contacts because of the Covid situation.

“We are trying to get the consultation deadline extended because we know that there are certain farmers, possibly in the older age category, who are just not comfortable in situations where they are not discussing issues on a person-to-person basis,” Henry Walsh said.

However, he stressed two things – number one, that the IFA were by no means anti-Greenway and secondly that the TII (Transport Infrastructure Ireland) had been very positive in engaging with them as regards a Code of Practice when engaging with landowners.

He said that while the CPO (compulsory purchase order) process was set down in law, the IFA under any circumstances did not want this used for the acquisition of Greenway land.

“Secondly we want no severance of farms and we want the route wherever possible to make use of state owned or controlled lands. But the basis of everything in this whole process must be a full and open consultation process with all landowners,” said Henry Walsh.

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

Action is sought on beef price cuts

Francis Farragher

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Micheál Haverty: Regulator needed.

FARMERS and beef finishers are pinning their hopes that the factories ‘prices slash’ last week will be short-lived given the market/supply situation.

The meat plants have again been slammed for imposing ‘opportunistic cuts’ on quotes last week which saw the base price for heifers drop from €3.90/kg to €3.70/kg.

Galway IFA Livestock Representative, Micheál Haverty, told the Farming Tribune that there could be no justification for the cuts, other than opportunism from the factories.

“We have some grounds for believing that the prices will rebound quickly enough, but the point is, that these cuts should never have happened in the first place.

“Farmers feel very strongly that it is past time for a regulator with statutory powers to be put in place as regards the whole situation with beef prices.

“Whether it be the likes of energy suppliers or the insurance industry, regulators are in place – we need something similar to deal with the meat plants,” said Micheál Haverty.

He said that Teagasc had established that farmers needed to be getting a base price of €4.50 per kg to at least break even from beef production but they were still a long way off this.

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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