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Tag Archives: Eddie Punch

Clare farm leaders have ‘robust’ exchange with minister

TALKS between Clare farmers and the Agriculture Minister have been described as “robust, full and frank,” as a delegation travelled to Dublin this week to fight for the Burren Programme and Hen Harrier Project.  Both schemes are at risk, as they are set to be subsumed into the new ACRES programme from the end of this year.  Michael Davoren, Aoife Forde, Dr Brendan Dunford and Councillor Joe Killeen made the case for retention of the award-winning scheme, that has made a multimillion Euro contribution to the sensitive environment of the Burren and to the local economy. Also addressing Minister Charlie McConalogue and Minister Pippa Hackett and their officials were Councillor Pat Hayes, Denis Tuohy and Ruairí Costello, who made the case for the retention of the Hen Harrier Project. A number of Clare’s Oireachtas members also attended. After the meeting, which lasted more than an hour, the ministers and officials undertook to come back to attendees, after giving consideration to …

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Clare farmers being short-changed with CAP reforms

ICSA chief says support for organic farming ‘excessive’ relative to other sectors CLARE’S suckling enterprise, which generates an annual injection of an estimated €60 million into the local economy, is being short changed under the latest CAP Reform proposals, a local farm leader has claimed. ICSA secretary, Eddie Punch has called on Clare’s Oireachtas members to address the significant underfunding of direct supports for Clare suckler, beef and sheep farmers under the government’s proposed package under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). While Mr Punch supports organic farming, he believes the proposed funding of €256 million for this sector is “off the richter scale”. In 2020, there were 66,232 calves registered as born to a suckler cow in Clare. This puts Clare as the third highest county in Ireland for suckler cows behind Galway and just marginally behind Mayo. ICSA secretary, Eddie Punch stressed the suckler enterprise is hugely important for sustaining rural towns and villages in Clare. “Marts like Ennis, …

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Carbon tax hike blots a ‘farmer friendly’ Budget

FARMING representative organisations in Clare have given a cautious welcome to Budget 2021, while voicing reservations over the fairness of the an increase of almost 2c per litre in the price of agri-diesel. An increase of €7.50 per tonne of carbon came into effect last Tuesday night, adding 1.937c the cost of a litre of green diesel. The measure takes the total carbon tax on agri-diesel to almost 9c per litre. Said Cratloe’s Eddie Punch, General Secretary of the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA), “The carbon tax is an environmental measure when there is a viable alternative to agri-diesel. When there’s no realistic alternative, it becomes just another tax, and it’s unfair.” Tom Lane, Clare County Chair of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA), agreed the measure is unjust in the view of his members. “There is no viable alternative to agri-diesel on the market currently,” he said. “We understand the pressure to reduce emissions and when you look …

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Farmers protest at regional vet lab

The Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA), along with ICMSA, this morning (Wednesday) mounted a protest at the Regional Veterinary Laboratory in Knockalisheen, Meelick over the possible closure of the facility. The protest was scheduled to coincide with a trip to lab by a review group from the Department of Agriculture and was led by ICSA general secretary Eddie Punch and rural development chairman Seamus Sherlock. Speaking at the protest, the ICSA general secretary said, “This proposal makes no sense at all. The lab is a vital resource with helping farmers determine the cause of mortality and with helping them get on top of infectious diseases another animal health issues as soon as possible. Closing it down will have a huge detrimental effect on animal health and welfare. It will also hinder farmers efforts to be more efficient in reducing mortality. We had an exchange of views with the Department officials here and we will be having further discussions …

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