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Farming in brief: Rescheduled ICSA AGM this Thursday

THE Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers' Association (ICSA) will hold its rescheduled AGM and annual conference on Thursday at the Strand Hotel, Limerick at 7.30pm.

The theme of the conference is 'What a Difference a Year Makes -- Agriculture's Role in National Economic Recovery'.

Speakers include the Minister for Agriculture, Brendan Smith, Fine Gael spokesman on agriculture, Michael Creed TD, Labour spokesman on agriculture, Sean Sherlock TD and Jim O'Leary, professor of economics at NUI Maynooth.

British MPs slam RPA performance

BRITISH MPs have demanded that the Rural Payments Agency (RPA), which handles single farm payments for UK farmers, reports to them every three months after it wasted £680m (€766m) of taxpayers' money.

Last year, the agency overpaid 1,700 farmers by £90m (€101m), some of whom are now refusing to repay the money. It also lost computer tapes containing confidential bank details for more than 100,000 farmers.

The agency was sharply criticised by the House of Commons' Public Accounts Committee for having a disastrous IT system, poor management and delays in payments.

Advice on offer at succession event

THE Succession Conversation is hosting a succession planning seminar on Thursday week (January 14) at the Manor Hotel, Abbeyleix, Co Laois from 4.30-9pm.

The seminar provides legal, financial and communication advice and will answer succession planning questions.

Speakers include solicitor Frank Lanigan, tax expert Francis Moriarty and Mary Carroll of the Succession Conversation.

The cost is €30/person or €50 for a couple. Bookings and further information is available by calling Mary Carroll on 086 8292590 or by visiting

McLoughlin takes over at EU body

ICOS president Pat McLoughlin has been elected vice-president of the EU Agricultural Co-operatives Confederation COGECA. The confederation represents the interests of some 40,000 farmer co-operatives employing 660,000 people and with a global annual turnover in excess of €300bn.

Mr McLoughlin is in his second term of office as president of ICOS. He farms at Garrykennedy, Co Tipperary, is chairman of the Irish Milk Quality Co-operative Society and is a board member and former chairman of Arrabawn Co-operative.

Irish Independent