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West’s farmers are being lined up for CAP ‘hit’ – Ó Cuív

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WEST of Ireland farmers could end up taking the ‘big hit’ in the new CAP programme because of the failure of the Agriculture Minister to get a minimum 40% commitment from Ireland built into the Pillar 2 EU agreement, it has been claimed this week.

Fianna Fáil Agriculture Spokesman, Éamon Ó Cuív, said that the failure of Minister Simon Coveney to get the Irish Pillar 2 contribution ‘built into the EU deal had now left ‘the road open’ for Public Expenditure Minister, Brendan Howlin to ‘plunder’ the co-funding budget over the coming years.

Deputy Ó Cuív also said that the main farming organisations had ‘also taken their eye off the ball’ during the key CAP negotiations by not highlighting the omission of the minimum co-funding stipulation in the deal struck with the EU earlier this year.

“I am extremely concerned in the run-up to the announcement on the Pillar 2 co-funding that the cohort of farmers who will end up taking the ‘big financial hit’ in the new CAP will be the smaller, lower income farmers along the Western Seaboard.

“If the co-funding Budget is cut significantly, then it is the schemes like DAS (disadvantaged areas) and REPS/AEOS that will suffer, and the effect will be completely disproportionate on a regional level,” said Deputy Ó Cuív.

He said that right from the start of CAP negotiations, his big fear was that the smaller farmers in the West of Ireland would end up coming out at the wrong end of this deal.

“I said all along that the farming organisations, and especially the West of Ireland representatives, needed to keep their eye very closely on the ball, as to how the CAP funds would be distributed.

“DAS and the environmental schemes are absolutely crucial for farmers in the West of Ireland but if the Irish Government start pulling back on their roughly 50/50 contribution to Pillar 2, then it doesn’t take a genius to work out, who will end up out of pocket over the next seven years,” said Deputy Ó Cuív.

He said that if the EU annual Pillar 2 funding for Ireland was matched by the Irish Government on a 53% (EU)/47% basis, this would result in a yearly injection to the rural economy of close on €600m per annum.

However, if the Government – ‘under the prompting of Minister Brendan Howlin’ – dropped their contribution to the 25% mark, this could end up taking close on €1 billion out of the rural economy between 2014 and 2020.

“With an announcement pending on co-funding – possibly on December 17 next – the time is short for farmers and their representatives to get moving on this. We’ll know then, whether it’s the farmers in the West that are left to carry the can,” said Deputy Ó Cuív.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

 

Connacht Tribune

Tractor run will remember a local legend

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Some members of the 10-person organising committee for the PJ Mahoney Memorial Tractor Run that takes place in Ardrahan on Sunday, December 11. (Left to right): Anthony Whelan, Brian Kilkelly, Declan Sylver, Patrick Mahoney and Aonghusa Fahy. Absent from the photo are: Mary Forde, Lena Taylor, Conor O’Dea, Gerald Harney and Mícheál Kelly.

THE PJ Mahoney Memorial Tractor Run will take place on Sunday, December 11, in memory of a very well-known and highly regarded figure within the Ardrahan and South Galway local community, who passed away just a year ago this month.

PJ Mahoney was steeped in farming and the GAA and for this he was known far and wide. He was a talisman for Ardrahan GAA, playing in goals for the senior hurling team when they won county hurling titles in 1974, 1975 and 1978.

All down through the years, he was a most dedicated and guiding servant to the club up until his untimely death in a road accident last year.

PJ farmed locally throughout his life and was well known as an agricultural contractor in both Galway and North Clare, a business carried on by his son Patrick.

There are many tales and anecdotes of PJ Mahoney that still bring a smile to the faces of those recalling them.

He was a keystone in the local community, the neighbour you could always call on, and indeed the neighbour that didn’t need to be called upon as he would turn up to help regardless.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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More info needed in land rezoning changes

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Albert Dolan: Start building houses for our young people.

A BIGGER effort needs to be put in by local authorities to notify farmers close to towns and villages – whose land is zoned as residential – according to a number of councillors at this week’s meeting of Galway County Council.

Independent councillor for the Athenry-Oranmore electoral area,  Jim Cuddy, told Monday’s meeting at County Hall that landowners should be written to by the Council to inform them if they had land zoned as residential.

“They should at least be informed that their land has been zoned as residential and will be liable for tax [3% of value]. Some of those people just don’t know if their land has been zoned as residential – they’re just hearing rumours,” said Cllr. Cuddy.

According to Cllr. Pete Roche (FG) there was an onus on the Council to get the information ‘out there’ about zoned land through the various media outlets. However, Cllr. Michael Connolly (FF) said that the issue of land zoning and tax was a decision taken by central government.

“This is national legislation – the local authority can’t be taking this on – we can’t be carrying the can for central government,” added Cllr. Connolly.

Cllr. Albert Dolan (FF) said that young people like himself ‘had damn all chance of buying a house’, adding that this tax wouldn’t be coming into force until 2024. “We need to start building houses for our young people,” he added.

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

Galway is top of the table for payments in GLAS

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Galway IFA Chairman, Stephen Canavan

GALWAY tops the league both in terms of payment total and farming numbers for the GLAS environmental scheme, the latest figures from the Dept. of Agriculture reveal.

Almost €13.7 million is being paid out in the 2022 Advance GLAS Payments to 3,951 farmers in Galway – averaging out at nearly €3,500 per farmer.

Mayo comes second on the payments list with over €12.4m being paid out to 3,683 farmers – equating to an average payment of just under €3,400 per applicant.

The importance of GLAS payments to the western seaboard counties is also highlighted by the fact that Donegal comes in third on the pay league, with €9.54m being paid to 3,026 farmers in that county – averaging out at just under €3,200 per applicant.

Galway IFA Chairman, Stephen Canavan, said that the uptake in GLAS across the whole western region highlighted the importance of the scheme to farmers in the more marginal areas.

“While we had hoped that the ACRES would be of a similar nature to GLAS, farmers here in the West still should definitely give serious consideration to applying for inclusion in the new scheme,” said Stephen Canavan.

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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