Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us

Farming

Week of the storms from hell

Francis Farragher

Published

on

Farmers and householders in large swathes of South and East Galway are this week praying that the rains will ease off as floodwaters came close over the past few days to the disastrous November levels of 2009.

Thousands of acres of farmland are underwater in the Shannon Callows area while in the South Galway area of Ardrahan, Ballinderreen and Kilcolgan, up to 10 local roads are impassable.

Farm leaders have again hit out at Government and political representatives for what they describe as ‘a string of broken promises’ in relation to the putting in place of essential flood relief measures.

According to IFA National Flood Project Chairman and Shannon Callows farmer, Michael Silke, waters on the Shannon rose by six feet above the navigation level over the second half of December and through the early days of January.

“We are really just in the lap of the Gods at present. If the rains don’t ease off, we will be looking at a situation just as bad as what happened after the floods in November 2009.

“The people who live along the Shannon Callows are bitterly disappointed at the lack of active measures taken by the present Government in relation to this situation.

“They came into power on a series of promises to resolve once and for all the flooding problems of this area but they have just sat idly by, while people in this area go through another period of terrible hardship,” said Michael Silke.

He described the drainage policy across the Shannon area as ‘a complete mess’, pointing out that the lead agency involved in the flood relief measures – the OPW (Office of Public Works) – just didn’t have the legal clout to put any serious action plan in place.

“There are so many bodies with an input into this issue like the National Parks and Wildlife Service, Fisheries, the ESB and Inland Waterways, that no action ends up being taken.

“We as local farmers and householders are happy to see the OPW as the lead agency in this whole flood problem that has gone on for generations, but they must be given the legal clout to implement their plans,” said Michael Silke.

He added that report after report was piling up on the flooding problem without any basic remedial measures being put in place like the proper maintenance and cleaning of the main river channel.

“When we seek to put measures in place to relieve this problem we normally hear of two things – cost benefit analysis and the environment. The one thing that’s never factored in, is the level of human hardship being endured by the families living here,” said Michael Silke.

Unless the rains eased up, sheds, fodder stocks and in cases houses would be coming under threat, according to Michael Silke.

Mattie Hallinan, from Ballinderreen – a member of the Galway Flood Project Team – described the situation in South Galway this as very serious with up to 10 roads blocked while around 10 houses were coming under pressure due to rising water levels.

“The really frustrating aspect of this problem is that there are straightforward solutions that can be put in place in a very cost effective manner.

“For example, the widening and clearing of the Ballinderreen-Kiltiernan water channel to the sea would provide instant relief for flooding in this area – the water needs to get to the sea and this work must start from the sea back,” said Mattie Hallinan.

For more, read this week’s Connacht  Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Saving a link with pre-famine days

Francis Farragher

Published

on

THE TEAM: Roofing contractors, Jamie and Eddie Costello; Conservation Consultant, Gerry McManus; Fearghus and Conor Deely, along with their ‘guest’, French student, Joachim Reveillon, pictured in front of their handywork on the old buildings at New Inn.

THERE’S an old saying in farming that from one generation to the next: “You should leave the place in a better state than when you got it,” and it’s a principle that a New-Inn farmer has adopted with a fair dash of enthusiasm.

Conor Deely, with the help of grant aid from the National Heritage Council, is in the process of conserving and repairing two stone buildings on his farm that he can date back to pre-famine times.

His grandfather, Patrick Deely, purchased the farm at New Inn around the time of the foundation of the State back in 1922, and always ensured that the farm and its outhouses were kept in spick and span shape.

“I suppose like everything else, with the passing of time the buildings gradually fell into a state of disrepair, but I remember them as a child being  well kept.

“I always had it in my head to try and bring them back as close as possible to the way they were, but knew that there would be a lot of work involved and a fair bit of money too,” said Conor.

This is where the Heritage Council special grants clicked in – available to farmers in the GLAS environmental scheme who have old buildings or sheds on their farm with strong links to the past.

The grants – up to 75% of the overall cost and with a ceiling of €25,000 – have enabled many farmers to ‘face into’ the prospect of ‘doing up’ an old shed or outhouse that in the past might have been wiped out with the belt of a machine bucket.

Back the years, the Deelys’ old buildings – located on the R348 New Inn to Kilconnell Road – had served many purposes such as animal housing, grain and wool storage, as well as a place to keep small pieces of farm machinery and tools. There was a place for a fire too, possibly for boiling spuds and grain for the pigs.

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.

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.

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

Dara takes Young Farmer award in a first for Galway

Francis Farragher

Published

on

Somewhere under the rainbow: Dara Killeen with his trophy for winning the 2020 Macra Young Farmer of the Year pictured on his farm with his parents, Charlie and Mary; fiancée Beatrix and daughter Isabella.

WHILE it mightn’t have been a good weekend for Galway on the All-Ireland hurling trail, a first ever national title did make its way west last week.

Dara Killeen (31), from Meelick on the banks of the Shannon, took the prestigious FBD-Macra Young Farmer of the Year award for 2020, putting Galway’s name on the cup for the first time since the awards began in 1999.

Son of well-known farmer and lifetime agri campaigner, Charlie Killeen, and his wife Mary, Dara is only in his second year of dairying, where he milks 150 cows on their 300-acre holding along the Shannon in East Galway.

“Traditionally, we always had been sheep and beef farmers, but back in 2017 the big decision was made to go into dairying.

“We brought in our own Jersey X calves, put them in-calf, and established the herd from there. We went for the Jersey crosses on the basis of their high butter fat and protein milk,” Dara told the Farming Tribune.

Moving from drystock to dairy farming is a huge decision for any young farmer but on a long-term basis, Dara felt that dairying offered the best chance of making a decent living from the land.

“It is a huge investment to make, both in terms of the herd and in the construction costs of the milking parlour, that was financed by selling off our existing stock and also with the help of TAMS (Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme) grants,” said Dara.

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.

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.

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

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

Francis Farragher

Published

on

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.

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.

Continue Reading

Local Ads

Local Ads

Advertisement

Weather

Weather Icon
Advertisement

Facebook

Advertisement

Trending