Farm Ireland

Sunday 17 December 2017

Taoiseach to talk at Offaly meeting

Taoiseach Brian Cowen is to be the guest speaker at a farmers' meeting on his home turf.

Mr Cowen will address the annual general meeting of Offaly IFA at the Bridge House Hotel, Tullamore, next Monday night.

The Taoiseach's appearance is expected to draw a larger than usual attendance to the county executive's AGM, which will start at 8pm.

CAP review chief set for Dublin trip

The man drafting a report on the European Parliament's CAP priorities will be in Dublin on Thursday to hear Irish concerns.

George Lyon, an ex-president of Scotland's National Farmers' Union, will meet with Minister for Agriculture Brendan Smith and other representatives from the Irish farming industry.

The Dublin meeting is part of Mr Lyon's tour of EU capitals.

"By listening to the views of key member states across Europe I hope to work towards consensus on the direction of the CAP. I look forward to a constructive exchange of views in Dublin as part of that process," Mr Lyon said.

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He will be accompanied by Irish MEPs Marian Harkin, Liam Aylward and Pat Gallagher.

Bryan sticks up for family grant levels

IFA President John Bryan has defended the number of farm families who qualify for third-level grants.

Mr Byran said it was no wonder that 50pc of farm families were in receipt of maintenance grants because of the disastrously low incomes in farming, which dropped to an average of €16,000 for full-time farmers last year, according to CSO figures.

"It is totally misleading for the media to make a link between farm families and families of professionals in assessing the allocation of third-level grants, when their income levels are widely different," said Mr Bryan, who replaced Padraig Walshe at the head of the farmer organisation in December.

REPS delays 'to hit 80pc of members'

Delays to REPS 4 payments are affecting as many as 80pc of applicants in some counties, the ICMSA has claimed.

Deputy president John Comer has called on Minister for Agriculture Brendan Smith to intervene to sort out "the shambles" the payments have become again this year.

"The number of applicants paid in some counties to date is as low as 20pc, and this pathetic figure is despite assurances given in early December by senior Department officials that payments would not be subject to the same delays as last year," Mr Comer said.

He said the anxiety of farmers caused by the delay could not be overstated.

Irish Independent