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Remembering the late Dan Moran




It was with immense sadness that I learned of Dan Moran’s passing in his 102nd year on Thursday, August 29th.

  I had the great honour and pleasure of visiting Dan in the welcoming surrounds of Tearmainn Bhride Nursing Home in Brideswell the day after his 100th birthday last year. That day he welcomed a number of his friends from the Athleague Comhaltas branch as well as members of the Castlecoote-Fuerty Fleadh Cheoil committee and distinguished guests Dr. Labhras Ó Murchú and his wife Una.

  Dr. Ó Murchú is the Director General of CCE and was in town to officially launch this year’s Fleadh Cheoil in Castlecoote later that night. He kindly stopped by to make a presentation to Dan to mark his 100th birthday.

  Dan told me about his famed walking sticks as well as his life as a sheep farmer. He was a renowned sheepdog breeder for the best part of 50 years and while he told me he never won any “big titles” he assured me he had the best of working sheepdogs.

  Sheep farming was his occupation but his beloved hobby was singing and music. He was modest when discussing his ability on the piano accordion and told me that even at the age of 100 he was learning to play the clarinet. Dr. Ó Murchú and his wife Una were even invited back to Brideswell to listen to Dan singing ‘The Felons of Our Land’, which Dan was in the process of learning at the time.

  What I’ll most remember however is Dan’s impromptu performance that day. He sang ‘The Isle of Innisfree’ beautifully before telling me he still got tremendous enjoyment from singing and playing music with other people.

  A day after becoming a centurion, Dan brought laughter and song to those fortunate enough to be present in Brideswell that day.

  He will be sorely missed but fondly remembered by many and I count myself lucky that I was able to spend that very enjoyable afternoon with him.

  Dan, who was the beloved husband of the late Josephine and much-loved father to Sean, Bernie Condron, Ollie, Mary Finan, and Anthony was laid to rest in Tisrara Cemetery last Sunday following Mass in Christ the Good Shepherd, Four Roads.

  I extend my deepest sympathies to his family and many friends. May his kind and gentle soul rest in peace.


ICMSA: Payments must be made on time


Following the announcement by Minister for Agriculture, Food, and the Marine regarding payment dates for the BPS and ANC this coming autumn, the Deputy President of ICMSA has said it is now vital that farmers receive payments on time.

  Lorcan McCabe said: “ICMSA acknowledges the progress made over the last number of years in terms of getting payments out on time. But this year of all years it’s more important than ever that every farmer needs to get his or her payment on time and for this to be achieved, any problems with applications must be notified immediately in order to give the farmer time to resolve the issue. 

  “In light of the cash flow pressures on the beef side in particular, but also other sectors - and with Brexit pending - there are serious pressures on farmers and it is essential that the ANC payment is made as early as possible in September, the BPS payment on the 16th October and all other payments, including GLAS, to be paid as agreed under the Farmers Charter”.

  He called on the Department of Agriculture to be proactive when it comes to offering farmers assurance.

  “We think that the Department should be proactive on this and actually text farmers an assurance that everything is in order and they can expect to be paid on time.

  “Farmers have financial commitments to meet and the payment of various scheme payments on time is absolutely critical”, concluded Mr. McCabe.


Minister must not renege on ANC Budget increase – Naughten





Denis Naughten has warned Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed that he must not renege on the Budget increase of €23m for the Areas of Natural Constraint (ANC) payment which was agreed as part of the Budget 2019.

  Deputy Naughten said: “As someone who was party to the Budget 2019 talks, it was fully understood that the €23m increase agreed for the ANC payment would be made in September and there was never any indication that there would be any postponement until the end of 2019.

  “The decision by Minister Creed to withhold not just the €23m Budget increase but a further €12m (half of the increase that we secured in Budget 2018) until December at a time when farmers, particularly beef farmers, are facing serious financial pressure is completely unacceptable.

  “Many farmers are facing bank repayments this month and had relied on the ANC payment to keep banks at bay particularly with the collapse of the price of beef.

  “On average we have seen a 10% reduction in beef prices since this time last year and now Minister Creed seems to be adding to the financial pressures facing framers by holding back 15% of the ANC payment.

  “This decision has to be reversed and instead of holding back money we need to be exploring ways of getting more cash into the hands of farmers on the run up to the Brexit date of 31st October”.


Roscommon People Mart Watch - September 6th




Manager’s report…Maura Quigley, Roscommon Mart


“There was a good show of weanlings on offer at Tuesday’s sale with a steady trade for both bulls and heifers resulting in the majority of lots getting sold. Weanling bulls averaged from €2.29 per kilo up to €3.08 per kilo while weanling heifers ranged from an average of €2.04 per kilo up to €2.94 per kilo.

  “The main customers this week were exporters and agents with some farmers also active. The mart will host a show and sale of weanlings next Tuesday (10th) at 5 pm. Bookings accepted up until 5 pm this Thursday (5th).

  “There was a large entry of sheep at our annual show and sale of lambs this week. There was a steady trade for finished lambs with prices fetching €100 for 50.5kgs. There was plenty of excellent quality ewe lambs on offer with a top price of €155 for 53.9kgs There was a good trade for cast ewes with prices ranging from €72 up to €100. 

  “Sales continue each Wednesday at 11 am for lambs and cast ewes. Please note all sheep must be tagged with a full yellow EID Tag set.

  “Numbers on offer at the breeding ewes sale were similar to last week. There was a brisk trade for both ewes and hoggets with an improved price resulting in an excellent clearance of lots. Hoggets made up to €218 with 2-year-old ewes fetching up to €190 and 3-year-old ewes making up to €160.

  “Sales continue on Saturday (7th) with the West of Ireland Registered Suffolk Sheep Breeder Club. Gates open at 8 am with 30 top-quality rams on offer. Show at 11 am and sale at 12 noon. There will also be a Pedigree Lleyn Sheep Show and Sale at 1 pm”.


Roscommon Mart sample prices

Weanling heifers

BAX 340kgs €1000 - €2.94 per kilo, LMX 410kgs €950 - €2.31 per kilo, BBX 420kgs €890 - €2.11 per kilo, CHX 405kgs €870 - €2.14 per kilo, CHX 360kgs €840 - €2.33 per kilo, Lim X 370kgs €750 - €2.02 per kilo, CHX 305kgs €725 - €2.37 per kilo, LM X 265kgs €615 - €2.32 per kilo.

Weanling bulls

SI 595kgs €1245 - €2.09 per kilo, CHX 460kgs €1100 - €2.39 per kilo, Char X 365kgs €985 - €2.69 per kilo, Simm X 485kgs €1000 - €2.06 per kilo, 2 LMX 375kgs €945 - €2.52 per kilo, Char X 380kgs €955 - €2.51 per kilo, Lim X 350kgs €930 - €2.65 per kilo, Lim X 355kgs €855 - €2.40 per kilo, CHX 300kgs €830 - €2.76 per kilo, SIX 370kgs €810 - €2.18 per kilo, LM X 390kgs €800 - €2.05 per kilo, Char X 235kgs €725 €3.08 per kilo.

Spring lamb

50.5kgs €100, 44.6kgs €97.50, 51.6kgs €96.50, 52.7kgs €95, 48.4kgs €94, 49kgs €93.50, 47.2kgs €90, 44.9kgs €90.

Ewe lambs

53.9kgs €155, 51.7kgs €142, 51.2kgs €140, 48.6kgs €137, 51.4kgs €136, 50.8kgs €136, 53.3kgs €135, 49.3kgs €130, 48.2kgs €129, 49.6kgs €128, 48.8kgs €124, 46.3kgs €115, 45.1kgs €110, 43.8kgs €108.


Manager’s report…Brendan Egan, Castlerea Mart


“Larger numbers of stock presented for sale this week as a result of the recent wet spell. Trade and prices varied depending on the categories of stock. The lighter quality stores witnessed good demand while the forward plainer type lots were a tougher trade.

  “The cow trade has remained strong and runners and breeding stock reported good clearances while the weanling trade was helped by strong export demand this week.

  “Cows with claves at foot made from €920 to €1,400 per head. Springers made from €700 to €1,100 per head. There were bigger numbers of calves/runners coming on offer with prices ranging from €170 to €700 for continental lots.

  “Sales continue at Castlerea Mart today (Thursday) with our usual sale of bullocks, heifers, cows, calves, runners and weanlings. All sales commence at 11 am with three rings in operation”.


Castlerea Mart sample prices



Ch 485kg €1315, AAX 475kgs €1110, Chx 500kgs €1200, Lm 500kgs €1070, Lm 560kgs €1230, Ch 590kgs €1155, Lm 635kgs €1295, Ch 635kgs €1200.



AA 410kgs €970, Lm 405kgs €885, Ch 480kgs €1050, Ch 605kgs €1290, Ch 580kgs €1225, Lm 550kgs €1175, Ch 480kgs €1000.


Dry cows

Ch 780kgs €1550, Lm 835kgs €1530, Lm 710kgs €1405, Lm 785kgs €1370, Lm 470kgs €955.


Weanling bulls

Ch 295kgs €800, Ch 255kgs €750, Lmx 355kgs €930, Ch 415kgs €935, Ch 440kgs €960.


Weanling heifers

Lm 345kgs €865, Lm 370kgs €845, Lm 390kgs €850, Lm 355kgs €750, AA 290kgs €500.



SIPTU: Workers’ earnings must be protected



SIPTU representatives have written to Meat Industry Ireland, the body which represents processors in the industry, calling on it to ensure that union members do not suffer a financial loss because of ongoing protests at processing plants around the country.

  SIPTU Organiser, Jason Palmer, said: “The ongoing protests are causing severe difficulties for SIPTU members working at these plants. Members are facing ongoing lay-offs and loss of earnings since the commencement of these protests concerning beef production.

  “We are calling on Meat Industry Ireland, to meet with SIPTU representatives to agree compensation for our members who continue to suffer a financial loss because of this dispute. Our members are incurring losses to income that are not sustainable through no fault of their own”.

  SIPTU Organiser, Terry Bryan, said: “Our members have had to endure financial hardship as a result of the dispute between beef farmers and processors. This results in our members facing an uncertain future. The situation cannot continue. SIPTU has today written to Meat Industry Ireland seeking an urgent meeting on this matter”.


Meat Industry Ireland: Blockades putting jobs, exports at risk



Meat Industry Ireland (MII), the association which represents the meat processing sector in Ireland, says the “continued illegal blockading of beef processing plants across the country has already forced companies into staff lay-offs and, if this coordinated illegal disruption continues, further significant staff lay-offs in the coming days are inevitable”.

  A statement released on behalf of MII claimed that it was extremely damaging for the entire beef sector that hard won customers of Irish beef are being left without deliveries.

  The statement read: ‘These loyal and valued customers are again forced to seek alternative fresh beef supplies. This damages the position of Irish beef in the marketplace. With political chaos in the UK ahead of a potential no deal Brexit, the last thing our sector needs at this crucial time is a series of industry blockades that prevent us supplying our customers in the UK and elsewhere.

  ‘Operations have now been brought to a halt in twelve plants, giving rise to staff lay-offs and significant losses.  It is the illegal blockading of processing sites that is forcing companies into staff lay-offs.

  There are also increasing calls from farmer suppliers to deal with a growing backlog of market-ready cattle.

  ‘MII calls on protestors, even at this late stage, to act responsibly for the good of the sector and stop the blockades immediately’.


Flavours from the Heart of Ireland returns



The extremely popular ‘Flavours from the Heart of Ireland’ Food and Drinks Fair returns to the Strokestown Show on Saturday and Sunday, September 7th and 8th.

  Celebrity chef Neven Maguire will be the star attraction on Saturday, September 7th while Edward Hayden will be in attendance on Sunday 8th.

  Chairperson John O’Beirne said: “On both days we have Flavours From The Heart Of Ireland Food and Drinks Fair. This year’s event features award-winning chefs Neven Maguire, Edward Hayden, Vinny Meldrum, Adrian Gill and Kieron Moran.

  “There will also be over 50 fabulous artisan food and drink producers, with cookery demonstrations and tastings.

  “As you know, we are always trying to diversify the Strokestown Show in order to keep people coming through the gates”.

  Kieron Moran from Moran’s Mega Jam will take to the stage to speak about the art of making some of the finest jams in Ireland.

  Executive Chef at Kilronan Castle, David Porter, returns to share some of his culinary delights and talk through some of the recipes he presents to visitors to Kilronan Castle.

  Vincent Meldrum is the Head Chef of Voccella’s in Longford and he will be on hand to demonstrate some Italian dishes that he delights his customers with every day.

  Adrian Gill from Gill’s Bakery will also be in attendance to show the Strokestown audience some quality baking skills and to share some top tips.

  Lorraine Aspill from Dairy Cottage Farm and Noel Leahy from Sliabh Aughty Honey will give beekeeping talks. There will also be a few more surprises across the weekend!

Plenty of Family Fun at the Show!



There will be plenty of attractions for the whole family to enjoy at the Strokestown Show on Sunday, September 8th.

  Chairperson John O’Beirne again provided details of classes including Best Dressed Lady, Glamorous Granny and Bonny Baby.

  “We will have the Best Dressed Lady with a prize fund of €500. We will also have Best Dressed Gent, Glamorous Granny, Little Miss and Little Mister aged five to ten years, and Bonny Baby.

  “There will be live music in the show grounds on Sunday, September 8th. We will also have amusements for all ages, including a kids’ corner,” he said.

  Mr. O’Beirne made an appeal to anyone interested in taking part in the Best Dressed Lady class, which is sponsored by Luna Accessories.

  “Ladies, I urge you to get dressed up for Sunday’s Show…the judges may pick you out and you could be handed €500 on your way out the gate!”

Strokestown’s ‘Carrowboy Ri’ claims share in €27,000 prize



Alan Gibbons and Carrowboy Ri from Strokestown in Co. Roscommon took the first place Class B prize at the 2019 Aldi Angus All-Ireland Bull Calf Championships in Co. Kilkenny last Saturday. The Grand Final took place at the Iverk Show in Piltown following several regional qualifier events across the country earlier in the summer.

  Sponsored by Aldi in conjunction with ABP Ireland and the Irish Angus Cattle Society, this year’s competition saw Ireland’s very best Angus bulls battle it out for a prize fund of €27,000 – one of the largest prize funds for an agricultural show in Europe.

Questioning of grading accuracy leads to dramatic improvement – Naughten



Questioning regarding the accuracy of beef grading machines has led to improvements in accuracy according to Independent TD Denis Naughten.

  Deputy Naughten said: “There has been a dramatic improvement in the accuracy of beef grading machines, which has improved by over one third, since I first started questioning the accuracy of the mechanical grading machines.

  “Last year 27% of cattle graded by machines during Departmental inspections were less than 90% accurate but this has now improved to a point where 17% of cattle graded by machines are less than 90% accurate

  “These figures still expose the fact that even with these improvements over one in every six cattle graded mechanically at meat plants are being graded at an accuracy of less than 90%. This can have a significant impact on the payment received by farmers because if a grading machine is out by at least two subcategories this could see farmers getting €140/head less than they should for their cattle”.

  Deputy Naughten said that there was still frustration regarding the implementation of new grading technology however.

  “What is hugely frustrating is the fact that these grading machines can easily be over 90% accurate but this requires vigorous enforcement by Department of Agriculture inspectors.

  “The Minister for Agriculture also has a report on his desk on the introduction of new grading technology which could ensure a far greater level of accuracy and transparency when it comes to the mechanical grading of cattle and this must be published immediately,” concluded Denis Naughten.



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