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Tag Archives: ICSA

Volunteer spirit at Ennis IWA charity shop rewarded

“OUR volunteers are the backbone of what we do,” says Tina Nagle, shop supervisor at the Irish Wheelchair Association’s charity shop in Ennis’ Elevation Business Park. Tina was speaking to The Champion as the shop’s team celebrated scooping an impressive four national awards from the Irish Charity Shop Association, including Volunteer of the Year for Margaret Hurley. And she revealed the success of the Ennis shop, which has expanded to 3,000 square feet at its base on the Clon Road, is set to become the model for any new shops to be opened by the charity in the future. According to Tina they were “thrilled” to receive accolades from the Irish Charity Shop Association at their recent awards ceremony in Dublin. As well as Margaret’s national Volunteer of the Year award, selected from charity shops all over Ireland, volunteer Hasibullah Darwish was runner up in the Volunteer throughout Ireland category; Teresa Marshall received a special Volunteer Recognition award and Tina …

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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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Clare farmers urged to participate in postal protest

CLARE farmers are being urged to post back new controversial TB herd history letters to the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine as a form of protest. There has been a furious reaction by farming organisations and farmers to the department’s decision to send out these letters to herdowners. The call for a postal protest was made this week by Clare Beef Plan chairman, Joe Woulfe, who asked why the DAFM are doing this unnecessary measure, as farmers already know whether they had TB or were TB free over the last ten years. “If a farmer has TB, it is not something they will forget as you can’t move your cattle. “The Department aren’t offering a reward if a farmer didn’t have TB in one year or ten years. 96.5% of TB has been eradicated from the national herd. What is the definition of eradication? “In my view, it has been eradicated if 96.5% of the herd is TB free. …

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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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Farmers cautioned on loan scheme

ICSA rural development chairman Seamus Sherlock has called on local farmers to be cautious if availing of the new 2.95% loan scheme. The scheme, which will be operated by the banks, utilises a combination of funding from the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland and an interest subsidy funded jointly by the EU and the exchequer. “While ICSA welcomes low interest rates in general, it is vital that farmers carefully assess their borrowing capacity. The new scheme is being promoted partly on the basis that the loans are unsecured. While this may lead to a faster and more efficient approval process, farmers should not assume that they will be immune from making full repayments. Even in the case of an unsecured loan, banks are fully entitled to seek a court judgement, which could be registered against the farmer’s assets. The message is that these loans should only be used by farmers who have carefully weighed up their repayment capacity and have …

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Support for vulnerable farmers

ICSA Rural Development chairman Seamus Sherlock has expressed concerns for the health and well-being of vulnerable farmers, who are experiencing difficulties coping with bad prices and the recent bad weather. Mr Sherlock was speaking ahead of a meeting on Rural Isolation and Mental Health in farming to be held in Carrigaholt on this Thursday evening. “ICSA understands what these farmers are going through and we will support them through these difficult times. The reality of the situation is often very different to public opinion. Poor prices coupled with high costs makes farming very difficult and stressful. Bad weather is also placing a very heavy burden on already struggling farmers”, said Mr Sherlock. “The fodder crisis of 2013 is still ingrained in many farmers’ minds and I hope lessons have been learned by government so that this will never be allowed to develop again. I am looking forward to meeting the people of west Clare on Thursday night and I will …

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Farm leader’s warning on sheep attacks

Following an attack in Cork last week, which resulted in the deaths of a ram and seven pedigree ewes, ICSA sheep chairman, John Brooks has urged dog-owners to be responsible and ensure that they are secure at all times. “All dogs, from cherished family pets to prized working dogs, can potentially cause serious distress and damage if they are not kept under control. Sheep are completely defenceless, and it is absolutely vital that we do all we can to protect them from attack,” said Mr. Brooks. “One of our members in Cork recently came home to find that eight of his pedigree Zwartbles sheep, a key component of his breeding stock, had been brutally attacked and were either dead or near death as a result.” “I would call on all dog owners to ensure that they do their duty and keep their dogs under control at all times to avoid these horrible scenes.”

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