Proposed scale of restriction on out-of-town development viewed as disproportionate
Sligo News File Online
Councillors have thrown out Tubbercurry’s Draft Local Area Plan.
They made the decision after arguing that the scope of the council earmarked out-of-town restricted development zone was too extensive.
The members considered the buffer element of the plan placed before them at last week’s meeting of the Ballymote – Tubbercurry Municipal body would have unfavourable implications in relation to development activities beyond the town boundary, and cause difficulties for farmers and others landowners seeking to secure planning permission within the area of the zone, as recommended
CEO Ciaran Hayes failed to persuade councillors to adopt the plan, which had been prepared by the county council over a several month period, with input from statutory bodies and local community interests.
The cost of preparing a new plan was raised but subsequently dropped after it was pointed out that a substantial volume of information had already been collected in the context of preparing the existing draft, leaving the disputed scope of the zone the only change to be focussed on.
Discussion of the issue was brought to a conclusion after Cllr. Margaret Gormley (Ind) urged members to scrap the presented draft, and start all over again. A resolution to the effect was agreed by the members.
Amnesty UK video urging Ireland to repeal the 8th amendment profiles country as ‘dark, gloomy place where women are unsafe’
This is Kate’s Open Letter to Neeson.
Dear Mr Neeson,
You appear to be a resourceful and intelligent man. You can retain so much information in your brain. You memorise your lines for all your acting jobs extremely well.
When you agreed to be the voice behind Amnesty International’s bizarre video demanding a repeal of our 8th Amendment (the one that says infants in the womb deserve to be protected on an equal level with all other human beings), did you in fact conduct any independent research of your own with regard to Irish maternal care?
Your words in the strange, scaremongering video elude to danger and fear among Irish women of childbearing years. The entire narration implies that we as Irish mothers are taking our lives into our hands as we enter into pregnancy. Do you know that these assertions are not at all borne out in fact?
Statistically Ireland still rates among world leaders in maternal care. A woman is more likely to die in the UK or US during pregnancy and birth (or in an abortion clinic) than here in Ireland. Perhaps you have been duped. I really don’t want to believe that you purposely used the platform afforded to you by our warm regard for your talent to deceive your fans globally and especially those of us here in little old Ireland.
The offending promotional video for liberal abortion legislation paints an inaccurate vista of Ireland as a dark and gloomy place where women are unsafe. I’m not sure that the Irish Tourism Industry (Ireland Of The Welcomes and all that) would thank you for such negative profiling.
Perhaps you will consider righting this wrong. It may be hard for a successful, wealthy professional like yourself to grasp the importance of our global image to us average working Irish, but if you could take it upon yourself to source the true facts with regard to maternal mortality and child health and safety here in Ireland perhaps you would use the vast platform that you have to paint a truthful picture of this country. We are struggling here to keep afloat. Negativity will smother us. And it is gravely unfair when it is spawned out of untruths.
Editor Key in CHAINS Liam Neeson to view the video online
Documents ‘kept under lock and key’ in clandestine EU reading room
Irish MEP had to ‘sign a confidentiality agreement swearing never to divulge the information’
‘My phone was taken from me and I was accompanied into the room by an official, who remained in the reading room for the duration’
Sligo News File Online
Sinn Fein MEP Matt Carthy has spoken of a blanket of secrecy Brussels is operating under to prevent citizens finding out what unelected Brussels officials are brokering in EU negotiations with the United States on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership deal.
Calling on the EU Commission to place all documents surrounding the TTIP negotiations in the public domain, Carty said that before he was permitted to view the draft TTIP chapter on agriculture last week, he first had to register to attend the ‘secret reading room’ in which nearly all the records are held ‘under lock and key’.
Carty said he has been raising awareness about the negative impact the TTIP as it stands would have for “democratic institutions, workers’ rights and the future of agriculture.”
He said; “TTIP is currently being negotiated behind closed doors by unelected European officials, and almost all of the documents and details of the negotiations are kept secret.
“One of the outworking’s of the secretive nature of the negotiations is that only a small, limited amount of documentation is available to be viewed by MEPs.”
In order to access even this number of documents MEPs, he said, must register and attend the ‘secret reading’ room.
“I had to sign a confidentiality agreement swearing never to divulge the information, my phone was taken from me and I was accompanied into the room by an official, who remained in the reading room for the duration.
“I am elected by the people of Ireland to represent them and to inform them of developments at an EU level that may impact on them, not to have access to information that is denied to the citizens I represent.”
Carty said the document he focused on in the secret reading room was the Draft Chapter on Agriculture “and while there were worrying elements within it, there was nothing that could be argued as being so sensitive that it should be hidden from the media and citizens, accessible only to some MEPs.
He said; “It should be remembered, what’s inside the reading room is just the tip of the iceberg; the most sensitive documents are still hidden to MEPs and even national governments.
Stating that the documents he had seen, and the documents that have remained under lock and key by the commission, must be released so that people can make informed judgements, he said, “the potentials of TTIP are too important and too dangerous for details to be kept from European citizens.
“Although Fine Gael and Labour are happy to act as cheerleaders for the EU commission rather than defenders of Irish workers and farmers, I and my colleagues within Sinn Féin will continue to back those that elect us and prevent any threats to our rights, standards or industries.”
As yet another Sligo business premises at Dromore West is burgled, the local Fine Gael TD, Tony McLoughlin has conveyed details of government plans for a new garda divisional headquarters in Sligo.
McLoughlin states that the Coalition announcement is “part of a national €60 million garda building and refurbishment programme to to build and refurbish existing garda stations.”
He said €5.3 million is also being allocated for the provision 260 garda vehicles to stations throughout the country.
The Deputy added; “Continued investment in An Garda Siochana is vital…”
It will be recalled that the Coalition didn’t accept there was a need for then existing rural crime fighting and public protection facilities when they went about closing local garda stations throughout the rural countryside.
Blair Feeney, the owner of the premises to which a gang gained entry during last night, said he believed there were at least five persons involved in the burglary. They accessed the premises using heavy duty equupment to cut their way through the roof of the building. A safe was broken open during the raid, he said
Gardai are investigating the incident.
The break is one of several carried out by gangs. There is widespread fear in the region that, with local garda stations set to remain closed, the virtually uncontrolled crime spree is destined to continue.
‘Potential to flood the EU market with beef imports from countries with lower standards’
Sligo News File Online
The Irish Cattle and Sheep Association has expressed alarm that the beef sector “will be hung out to dry in a possible TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) deal.”
According to ICSA president Patrick Kent, “alarm bells are ringing and the Irish Government needs to take a much harder and more proactive line to defend the interests of Irish beef farming.
Mr. Kent said the ICSA attended a meeting in Brussels last week, under the patronage of Paolo De Castro, MEP and organised by Farm Europe – a Brussels based think-thank – on the TTIP.
“The meeting which was held in the European Parliament in Brussels was briefed by Paolo De Castro who is one of the most prominent members of the EU parliament agriculture committee, as well as former senior DG agri official Joao Pacheco, who is currently Senior Fellow at Farm Europe.
“ICSA put forward the view that the beef sector is the loser in all of the trade deals, and it is the potential cumulative impact of several trade deals that spells real peril for Irish beef. Apart from TTIP, which proposes a trade deal between the EU and the US, there is also a deal with Canada (CETA) and news is emerging of the opening of trade talks with Australia. In addition, the potential for a deal with the Mercosur (South American countries) cannot be excluded.
The ICSA president said that all of these deals have the potential to flood the EU market with lots of extra beef imports from countries with lower standards.
“The risk of conceding huge extra quotas of tariff free beef cannot be under-estimated. As Ireland is the major beef exporter in Europe, we stand to lose much more than any other EU state.
“We are particularly concerned that other member states are putting all their negotiating influence into geographic indications which are not relevant to the Irish beef sector. The risk is that such concerns are given priority in a TTIP deal at the expense of defending the beef sector adequately.
The ICSA, he said, is now calling on the Irish Government “to look for guarantees that no beef will be allowed access to Europe which is produced at a lower standard and that the volume of beef covered by tariff rate quotas (i.e. not paying the normal import tariff) is minimised to reflect the fact that the EU beef market does not have any surplus demand for beef.”
‘This government wants young unemployed people to emigrate or act as cheap labour on dubious job activation schemes’.
Sligo News File Online.
Sinn Féin General Election candidate Cllr Martin Kenny has said the government has left young people ‘out in the cold” in Budget 2016.
“It has been clear for a while now,” he said, “that this government have been targeting people through ageist policies.
“The cut to job seekers allowance for U25s shows the apathy that this government has for young people. The government, if it were serious about introducing some real fairness into our society, would have restored this payment in Budget 2016.
He said ‘political analysts and senior people in the establishment parties should not be wondering why a lot of young people are demoralised in spirit and cynical about politics, when they are punished and neglected by this right wing government intent on closing down all their options.
“In this region we have thousands of young people in college attaining degrees and excellent qualifications with little options for quality employment where they come from, in fact there are so few jobs for graduates the most are looking to employment abroad, draining the country of its best.
“Rather than implement progressive initiatives, this government basically wants young unemployed people to emigrate or act as cheap labour on dubious job activation schemes, while spinning nonsense about bringing workers back from abroad.
“We must also remember that this is a government which has failed to decrease student fees during its time in office. This is despite the very vocal protestations of both Fine Gael and the Labour Party, while they were in opposition, to increases in fees.
“Young people can change the quality of the political representation that they receive by voting for a change of government. I am urging all young people of voting age to make sure that they are registered to do so and to then vote for candidates who will fight for their interests.”
‘Thousands across Sligo, Leitrim, Donegal and Cavan have not received advance because of raft of new administrative checks and inspections’
Sligo News File Online
Fianna Fáil General Election candidate for Sligo-Leitrim Marc Mac Sharry has said around 8,000 farmers in the North West are facing lengthy delays in the single payments advance because of new rules on inspections. There are more than 25,000 farmers across the country affected by the changes.
Senator Mac Sharry explained, “Thousands of farmers across Sligo, Leitrim, Donegal and Cavan have not received the advance because of a raft of new administrative checks and inspections. Many of those who have had their payments delayed were not even made aware of the fact that they had been selected for a satellite inspection. This is a ridiculous scenario which sees these farmers penalised unnecessarily.
He said farmers “should not be left out-of-pocket because of delays or processing difficulties that the Department of Agriculture is experiencing.
“These farmers, particularly sheep and commonage farmers, depend on these payments to keep their businesses viable and many would have included the payments in budgeting plans for the coming months. Delays in the distribution of the funding will have a major impact on their income and outgoings and has the potential to cause major problems.
Describing the situation as “just another example of the excessive bureaucracy which governs our agriculture schemes,” he said “many of the farmers involved were unaware that inspections were to be carried out on their land, and now they are paying the price.
“This is completely unfair and I would urge the Minister to ensure that these inspections are carried out without delay so that the payments can be approved for these farmers. He urged farmers encountering delays to contact him or his office “so that I can assist in progressing their payments.”