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Warm welcome for greening initiative at Connemara Pony Festival

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THE Connemara Pony Festival that runs this year in Clifden from Sunday, August 11 to 18, will be a far greener affair with a number of initiatives being put in place to make the whole event far more environmentally friendly.

Last month, Cllr. Liam Carroll, Mayor of Co. Galway, recently launched the greening plan for the festival with the Festival Committee working in partnership with Galway County Council, FORUM Connemara, Barna Waste Ltd. and the various food suppliers – together they will take steps to improve the festival’s environmental performance and reduce the impact on the environment in the showgrounds.

They plan to increase the quantities of waste diverted from landfill through improved composting and recycling practices. This will be achieved through managed waste segregation on site. All food waste, compostable plates, bowls, serviettes, knives and forks will be segregated in organic waste bins for composting and all plastics, cardboard and aluminium will be segregated in bins for recycling. 

“Greening festivals and events like the Connemara Pony Festival is an exceptionally positive initiative and will reap significant rewards for the festival in addition to encouraging the delivery of resource efficiency and waste prevention initiatives at a local level. 

“Galway County Council is delighted to assist the committee who have risen to the challenge of addressing waste and litter issues as part of this international event,” said Mayor Carroll.

Henry O’Toole, Chairperson of the Connemara Pony Festival committee said that ‘going green’ was a phenomenon sweeping across a host of events nationally. “With the Connemara Pony Show celebrating its 90th anniversary this year we are delighted to be associated with such a positive initiative,” said Mr. O’Toole.

The Connemara Pony Festival will feature the 90th Connemara Pony Show on Thursday and Friday, August 15/16th at the Showgrounds, Clifden. For more information on the festival please visit www.cpbs.ie or Connemara Pony Breeders’ Society on Facebook.  Additional information on ‘Greening Galway Festivals’ is available from Sinéad Ní Mhainnín, Galway County Council 091-476488 or snimhain@galwaycoco.ie.

Environment

Farmers willing to play part on climate measures

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Pat Murphy.

FARMERS in the West of Ireland are more than willing to play their part in tackling the issue of climate change but due recognition must be given to their ongoing progress in reducing emissions, Connacht IFA Chair Pat Murphy said this week.

His comments come in the wake of the latest report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – released this week – which has warned that climate change is ‘widespread, rapid and intensifying’.

“We all have to face up to the climate change issue – it cannot be ignored – but as a country Ireland is in a position to produce food in a very, very environmentally friendly way,” said Pat Murphy.

He added that over recent months the role that Irish farms played in acting as carbon sinks was at last being recognised by different organisations.

“We are ready and willing to play our parts in a food production chain that’s environmentally friendly and sustainable.

“But as farmers we will need the support, back-up and recognition of central Government in our ongoing efforts to play our part in this,” said Pat Murphy.

Earlier this week, IFA President Tim Cullinan said that Irish farmers can be a big part of climate action by using ‘our natural advantage to produce carbon efficient foods’ and also in the production of renewable energy on farms.

He said the recent change to the Climate Bill, which recognised the carbon storage capabilities of Irish farms, was an important acknowledgement that farmers can contribute towards making Ireland net carbon zero by 2050.

Read full coverage in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or you can download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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Environment

July ticked all the right boxes for farmers

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Brendan Geraghty: A perfect July for farmers.

JULY turned out to be a pretty much ideal month for farming with up to 25 dry days in places while the bulk of the rainfall was ‘delivered’ in two downpours over one weekend.

Abbeyknockmoy weather recorder, Brendan Geraghty, said that his rainfall total for the month of 2.95 inches (75mms.) was below the average for July – but this told only half the story.

Significant rainfall occurred only on six days during our seventh month with two big downpours on the evening of Friday the 19th – and through the day on the following Sunday, the 21st.

“I suppose overall July would have to be regarded as an excellent month as indeed was the Summer overall.

“We tended to get the rainfall in concentrated bursts but we had a lot of fine and pleasant days during the month that enabled farmers to get a lot of work done,” said Brendan Geraghty.

For full story see this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Environment

Drought conditions still prevail but a change is on the way

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DESPITE the western region faring better than many other parts of the country in terms of July rainfall, major concerns have been expressed in Galway over the winter feed situation.
The most significant break in the drought pattern came on the weekend of July 15 last with over 20mms. of rainfall arriving in some parts of the county including the Met Éireann station in Athenry.
Ardrahan dairy farmer, Pat Murphy, said that while the rains of that weekend had been a help, many farmers across the county were still facing into a very serious feed and fodder situation.
“The rain we got – particularly what fell on Sunday week last [July 15] – was welcome and it did green up the place a bit, but the overall grass situation remains critical.
“Like a lot of other farmers I know, I am paying big money every week buying in extra ration to try and ‘stretch out’ the grass but there just seems to be no end in sight to the drought – and the Summer is passing.
“The date for a second cut of silage is now going back well into September. Farmers would need to have their second cut taken in the first week or so of September to allow them spread fertiliser for late grazing before the deadline [Sept. 15] for spreading nitrogen arrives,” said Pat Murphy.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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