Home » Tag Archives: IFA

Tag Archives: IFA

Councillors warn of debt and mental health impact of lockdown

HUNDREDS of local families are struggling to cover the cost of food and fuel, a council committee has heard, with concerns that lockdown is tipping people into debt and mental health issues. A “food and fuel poverty emergency” like that seen during the first wave of Covid-19, was outlined to members of the Rural Strategic Policy Committee (SPC) this week. Bernie Haugh, Senior Executive Officer, Rural and Community Development, said 375 families and individuals now need emergency food and fuel support. “Heat and lighting costs are increasing as more people spend time at home under the Level 5 restrictions, school and childcare closures result in more families having to meet additional food needs,” she outlined. “Older people are struggling to meet fuel costs and that’s worsened by the lack of alternative heated spaces. They would have gone to libraries or shopping centres, that’s no longer available to them. Missing fuel payments creates additional pressure. Where a family is cut off …

Read More »

Pledge to keep landowners at centre of West Clare Greenway plan

CONSULTATION with landowners will be central in the development of the West Clare Greenway, a senior council official had pledged. Leonard Cleary made his remarks in response to a request from Councillor Susan Crawford for an update on the long-awaited trail which will run through Ennis, Corofin, Ennistymon, Lahinch, Miltown Malbay, Quilty, Doonbeg, Moyasta, Kilrush and Kilkee. At the January meeting of the municipal district, Mr Cleary said that landowners and the farming community would be consulted at every stage. In response to the motion from Councillor Crawford, Seán Lenihan, Senior Engineer with the council’s Project Management Office (PMO) said that technical advisors for the Planning and Consent Phase and Detailed Design Phase for a 20km section between Kilrush and Kilkee will be appointed by March. “Following the council’s commissioning of a positive Feasibility Study, we were fortunate to secure €255,000 from the Department of Transport’s Carbon Tax Fund to progress the proposal through the various stages required,” Mr Lenihan’s …

Read More »

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 …

Read More »

Deer hunting licence delays prompts concern over farm and forest damage

DEER are said to be causing significant damage to farms and forests in East Clare, with the pandemic being blamed for a slow-down in the processing of permits for hunters, five weeks into open season. Concerns have also been raised about the ongoing issue of illegal deer hunting, which a major conservation and management organisation described as a recurring problem in the east of the county. “There are landowners in East Clare who might go out to find 30 to 40 deer on their grazing,” said William Shortall of the IFA  said. “As the population of deer expands, they’re competing for food and that’s what drives them into grassland areas and tillage. What we need in the long term is an agency with responsibility for the overall management of deer, who will be able to put effective plans in place to control their numbers. We’re entering the rut now, where stags move off their territory in search of females, so …

Read More »

Farmers Pray for Rain as Drought Hits The Burren

FARMERS in the Burren are said to be in “dire straits” after almost three months with virtually no rainfall. Despite the thundery downpours experienced in recent days across Clare, much of the north of the county has escaped, with drought-like conditions posing challenges for farmers. “It will be 13 weeks from the Spring Equinox to the Summer Solstice this weekend,” noted Burren IFA Chairman Michael Davoren. “In my lifetime, I haven’t seen a three month spell without rain. There’s been a slow drought since early Spring, which has badly hit the winterages. The wells and the springs of the Burren are in danger of running dry at this stage.” Mr Davoren estimated that grass growth is down between 30 and 40%, with some farmers having to use sileage to feed their cattle. “It threatened to rain at the weekend, but there wasn’t a drop. The winterages need a good dousing. The rain will come eventually,” he said, “but you can’t …

Read More »

Snow compounds fodder crisis for farmers

AS the impact of Storm Emma continues this week, one farm leader has condemned the national subsidised fodder transport scheme as a “shambles”. Former regional Teagasc advisor, Brendan Henaghan, has also warned that there may not be a plentiful supply of grass on some Clare farms until early May. IFA president Joe Healy has called on the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, to look at the implications of Storm Emma, which looks set to create a major fodder crisis. “Grass growth is at zero in March. Grass is saturated and will rot with any hard frost. We will not see good growth for a few weeks. “The bad weather has put back growth by about a month. It will be at least two weeks before land is dry again and then the cold weather will add to the fodder crisis,” Mr Healy said. He described the introduction of the transport scheme as a “gesture” to tackle the fodder shortage, but …

Read More »

IFA hit out at Government Planning Framework

THE draft National Planning Framework developed by Government has been described by the IFA as “Dublin-centric and lacking ambition for rural Ireland.” “The Government’s aspiration to develop a planning framework out to 2040 in a balanced and coherent way fails rural Ireland, particularly in the addressing following four areas: the decline of rural towns and villages; the need to rebalance development towards the regions; the need for rural housing; and, supporting community based renewable energy development,”said Thomas Cooney, IFA Environment chairman. In a submission to Government, IFA has detailed a number of areas that need to be addressed. To reverse the decline of rural towns and villages, IFA says new business start-ups should receive incentives, such as exemptions from rates, for an initial time period and relief from capital gains tax, to encourage innovation and enterprise. Double tax relief should be provided on rental expenditure for businesses establishing in rural towns and villages. A condition for a valid planning application for …

Read More »

Heavy rains threat to harvest

IFA NATIONAL Grain Committee chairman Liam Dunne said the harvest has turned into a salvage operation for many growers with later sown and later maturing crops, particularly on the heavier soils in peripheral areas due to heavy and incessant rain. In some regions, 25%-30% remains in the field. The West, North West and the northern part of the country have been worst hit. Liam Dunne said, “Many growers are at their wits end as the rapid deterioration in weather has stopped the harvest and the forecast remains bad for the week. Later sown and later maturing crops particularly on the heavier soils are beginning to break down after recent torrential rains and heavy winds. In some cases, ground conditions are becoming a problem. Even where harvest is complete, many farmers are struggling to bale up straw and clear fields”. “Crop losses will mount with each passing day and this will add to an already deepening income crisis for many growers. …

Read More »