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Tag Archives: Andrew Dundas

IFA ‘Celtic Tiger contracts’ should end

THE IFA should end all “Celtic Tiger” contracts for new senior officials, including president, in the national organisation, the newly-elected Clare chairman has said. Willie Hanrahan has proposed that the salary for the next IFA president should be in the region of the €82,258 paid to a Dáil deputy, plus legitimate expenses. The Doonbeg dairy farmer wants the salaries of all senior officers and the general secretary included in the IFA’s annual general accounts in a bid to introduce proper openness and transparency to the organisation, which was left reeling by the controversy surrounding huge payments to key personnel last year. Acknowledging that this controversy seriously undermined the trust of farmers in the organisation during “dark days” last year, he pointed out that “Celtic Tiger contracts” paid to some officials were not adjusted during austerity times. He stressed that the IFA should become a “bottom-up” farmer-led organisation in a new change of direction, as it had evolved into a “top-down …

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‘Disturbing’ sums paid by IFA

CONFIDENCE in the country’s leading lobby group and largest farming organisation received another hammer blow this week when it was revealed that outgoing Irish Farmers’ Association’s presidents received a year’s salary as “a golden handshake”. “There is massive disappointment regarding the presidents’ golden handshake. Farmers are really disappointed, more than anything else. We knew the general secretary was on big money but it turns out that it was bigger than we knew,” said Ardrahan farmer and Galway IFA chairman Pat Murphy. While revelations about the pay of former general secretary Pat Smith rocked the IFA in recent weeks, the full scale of his pay and pension contributions since 2009 were revealed at a marathon meeting of the IFA national executive on Tuesday. The new information was contained in the report and recommendations on the association’s structures and procedures and certain remuneration issues presented by former IFA chief economist and Clare-man Con Lucey. It shows that Mr Smith received more, each …

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OPW minister views estuary embankment breaches

THE Minister of State with Special Responsibility for the Office of Public Works (OPW) has told The Clare Champion that separate minor work applications for farmers affected by flooding on the Fergus embankments and in Doonbeg will be dealt with, as quickly as possible, by his office. The maximum figure possible under each scheme is €500,000. Deputy Simon Harris was speaking during a visit to Clare on Tuesday, when he met with a farming delegation in Kildysart and visited some of the land affected by serious flooding in 2014. “I think they appreciate the frankness and the straight-forwardness of the procedure I have outlined to them. When I came to office and was made aware of these problems, the first thing I did was to bring all the people around the table together. Deputy Pat Breen has been on my case about this for quite a period of time,” he explained. “On March 10, I brought the IFA Clare chairman, …

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Beef action not ruled out

Angry farmers may stage a rolling demonstration outside a local beef processor unless there is a breakthrough in the national dispute over beef prices, local IFA leaders have warned. Clare IFA chairman, Andrew Dundas has not ruled out a resumption of the action, which involved the staging of protests outside 30 meat plants recently. Mr Dundas warned that Clare farmers would be back on the picket line on Sunday unless there is a major improvement in beef prices from meat processors and a permanent solution to market specification issues. This could include a demonstration outside venues in Ennis and Nenagh. The Clare IFA leader confirmed a final decision on whether or not to take further action against beef factories would be taken following a meeting this weekend. “There is still a lot of anger amongst Clare farmers, with the huge gap that has opened up between Ireland and the UK. Beef prices have risen by about 30 cent per kilo …

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Action needed to avert suckler ‘income crisis’

Thousands of suckler farmers in Clare are facing an “income crisis” unless urgent action is taken to address serious issues in the beef industry, local farm leaders have warned. It has been claimed that weanling bull prices could drop by over €300 when sales commence next month. Farming representatives are fearful that weanling prices may be down by as much as 25% on 2013 prices, which would reflect an overall drop of 80 to 85 cent per kilo in the average beef price. With an estimated 5,000 suckler producers in the Banner County, the next few months will determine if this enterprise is viable. Clare IFA chairman, Andrew Dundas, said the Single Farm Payment was effectively subsidising operators in a lot of cases, which couldn’t continue. He confirmed the IFA is organising a meeting with the Northern Minister for Agriculture, Michelle O’Neill, to try and address the absence of Northern Ireland buyers in local marts and other issues. If live …

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