Log in
Paul Healy

Paul Healy

Feighan in call to young farmers

Fine Gael TD Frank Feighan has encouraged young farmers in Co. Roscommon to apply for the Young Farmer Capital Investment Scheme, following the announcement by Agriculture Minister, Simon Coveney, that the online application system opened on Tuesday.

  “This is the first of the new Targeted Modernisation Schemes (TAMS II) to be launched under the new Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 and it comprises a €120 million scheme aimed at young farmers,” he said.

  “Farmers must be below 40 years of age at the time of application and have been set up in farming within the previous five years.

  “The grant-aid available under this scheme and the Animal Welfare, Safety and Nutrient Storage Schemes will assist tillage farmers for the construction of nutrient storage facilities, and storage facilities for other farmyard manures, soiled water, and related facilities, as well as farm-safety investments.

  “The Farm Safety items include the provision of sliding/roller doors. “Tillage farmers will also be able to avail of grant-aid under the Low Emission Slurry Spreading Scheme.

  “This scheme provides grant-aid for the purchase of new equipment for the spreading of slurry which has distinct environmental advantages.”

All roads lead to Sheep 2015 in Athenry

Sheep 2015 will be held in Teagasc, Mellows Campus, Athenry, next Saturday, 20th June. Entry is free of charge and starts from 10 am.

  It promises to be a great day for all involved in the sheep industry and their families. Visitors will have the opportunity to gather information from 10 themed villages.

  Sheep 2015 will include a series of practical, workshops, tours of the Teagasc Sheep Research Demonstration farm and recently imported New Zealand Sheep. There are sheep breed exhibitions and championship as well as numerous commercial exhibits.

  In addition to the technical aspects, there will be lots to see and do for all the family. There are a number of cookery demonstrations. Sheep dog trials and sheep dog training are sure to entertain a significant audience.

  Further details on the open day are available at www.teagasc.ie/events/2015/20150620.asp.

Declan Nerney for Glenamaddy Festival

The 2015 Glenamaddy Summer Festival will get off to a fabulous start on Thursday, 25th of June when the great Declan Nerney and his band kick off the festivities with an Open-Air Concert.

  When the hugely popular Declan and his colleagues start their set it will truly signal the beginning of four action-packed days in Glenamaddy.

  The festival will actually begin earlier on Thursday evening when a Car Treasure Hunt takes place at 7.30 pm at the local community centre. That’s followed by Declan Nerney live in the heart of the town.

  Meanwhile a Monster BBQ will be ongoing all night while Declan and his band are performing.  

  A highlight of the festival fun on Friday, 26th of June will be the Mascarde Fancy Dress Party, which is taking place in the bar in Raftery’s Oakland Hotel from 9 pm. Entry to the Fancy Dress Party is free and there will be prizes on the night. There will also be music – it promises to be a memorable occasion!

  Saturday (June 27) is Market Day and this will undoubtedly be a highlight of the Glenamaddy Festival. The Market Day officially starts at 11 am and will feature all the traditional attractions one associate with a market in a country town in Ireland. It will be a wonderful opportunity for friends, neighbours, even strangers, to meet up and chat and socialise!

  Later on Saturday (5 pm) there’s a unique ‘Drive-In Bingo’ event. It will be held at the Equestrian Centre on the Kilkerrin Road. This is ‘what it says on the tin’, so to speak; people taking part will play bingo in their parked vehicles (cars and buses welcome).

  You honk your horn if you think you’re on to a winner! A €600 Jackpot must go on the night!  

  Sunday is Family Fun Day and traditionally a huge day in Glenamaddy. It’s the day when parents, children, grandparents – the entire community – comes out in force. The Family Fun Day will take place on Sunday, June 28, starting at 1.30 pm. Organisers have lined up fun and games for all the family. The venue is the local GAA pitch. Don’t miss it!

  At 5 pm on Sunday the much-anticipated Pig Racing event will take place. The venue is the Ballymoe Road. Pigs ‘on sale’ at €10 in the lead-up to and during the Festival; and also on the Race Day itself.

  This year there will also be a Bartenders Race during the Glenamaddy Festival. It takes place on Sunday, June 28 at 6.30 pm, starting in Harte’s Beer Garden. Who is the fastest bartender in Glenamaddy? We’ll all fine out on Sunday, June 28!

Farmers urge Coveney to address concerns

Over 1,000 farmers attended a meeting, hosted by the Irish Farmers’ Association, in Claremorris on Tuesday, June 2, where the Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney got a very strong message about the real concerns of farmers relating to the Beef Data and Genomics Scheme.

  Bernard Donohue, the chairman of Roscommon IFA Livestock Committee, said that the scale of the turnout highlighted the genuine concerns about numerous aspects of the scheme. He said that there was a responsibility on the Minister to address the concerns expressed by suckler farmers and provide the necessary assurances and flexibilities to ensure the €52 million in funding is paid out annually to farmers.

  Mr Donohue said that farmers remain concerned about the six-year rule and claw-backs, the level of genotyping, the requirement to reach four and five stars and the lack of flexibility in the scheme for farmers who want to progress and develop suckler cow numbers.

  He said that the Minister needed to provide the necessary assurances and flexibilities within the scheme to resolve these issues.

  On the six-year rule and claw-back, the Minister said this would only apply to farmers who decided to switch to another enterprise during the term of the Scheme. He acknowledged that mistakes had been made in the communication that was issued to farmers in the first place, from which much of farmers’ concerns arose.

  He also recognised that a greater level of consultation should have taken place. Minister Coveney said the department was willing to look at individual cases if 2014 didn’t work for any farmer as a reference year and that he would establish a working group, as suggested by the IFA President, to look at all aspects of the scheme and review them on an ongoing basis.

  He said that elements of the scheme were proving unattainable would have to be revisited. He said that the working group would have to iron out any difficulties that farmers were experiencing and make the Scheme workable.

  IFA said that they lobbied Minister Coveney and the Government to deliver the €52 million funding for the sector and were determined that the full benefits would be paid out to suckler farmers by December.

  In a statement released after the meeting, local Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice said: “Now that the closing date for the Beef Geonomics Scheme has passed, I am again highlighting the many problems that farmers faced in connection with this scheme.

  “The figures for those joining the scheme are nowhere near what was anticipated because of the problems involved, and there may be as many as 7,000 farmers less than was hoped. “It is envisaged that many of the farmers who have applied for the scheme will actually pull out because of fears that they have about parts of the scheme and the terms and conditions. “It would be in the interest of the Minister to devise a more workable scheme that would suit farners in the West of Ireland, where 80 per cent of the sucklers are based.”