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Tag Archives: Rural Development Programme

New Hen Harrier Scheme

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed has announced that work on the roll-out of the new locally-led Hen Harrier scheme will begin immediately. The minister confirmed his department has signed contracts with the Hen Harrier Project Ltd, representing a consortium of skilled and experienced conservationists, agricultural advisors and environmental scientists, to lead on the design and delivery of the new scheme. The winning team was selected on foot of a competitive tender operated by the department as offering the best approach for this critical new scheme which seeks to save one of Ireland’s most endangered birds. This will be monitored closely in this region, where the Hen Harrier has resulted in restrictions in farming practises for hill famers in parts East Clare and South Galway. Minister Creed said, “I am looking forward to seeing the new scheme in place as soon as possible. This scheme is targeted specifically at farmers with designated land and should provide farmers in …

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€250m Rural Development Programme launched

A new €250 million Rural Development Programme has been lauched today (Monday) by Environment Minister Alan Kelly and Minister of State for Rural Affairs, Ann Phelan. The funding, which will support the delivery of the LEADER programme to rural areas out to 2020, will focus on tackling rural isolation, generating employment and stimulating village renewal. Each local area will have to develop a strategy on how best to apply this funding for rural areas and expressions of interest in how to spend the funding are being sought from local LEADER companies and others from today. Ireland will conduct a two stage selection process that will seek to secure high quality Local Development Strategies that will complement the economic development work being carried out by local authorities. The first stage is an open call for expressions of interest from any group that can show broad local and community participation and wishes to be considered as a Local Action Group for the …

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Hen harrier concerns for hill farmers

Following a series of public rallies in the West of Ireland, a new national farming organisation, the Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association (INHFA) has been officially established. Since the draft Rural Development Programme was sent to the European Commission on July 3, 2014 by the Departments of Agriculture and broadly endorsed by the farming organisations, a passionate group of hill farmers and those farming designated lands, including farmers with hen harrier sites, have sustained a campaign to make changes to the RDP. The reasons for this was that commonage farmers could access the GLAS scheme as individuals and where Natura lands have been devalued  by designation, that measures would be added to help keep those farms viable. Massive rallies were held in Westport (1,700 farmers), Letterkenny ( 900 farmers), Maam Cross (1,000 farmers) to highlight the unfairness of the proposals in the draft and culminating in a march for fairness by 2,500 farmers in Castlebar.  

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