Fine Gael Seanad leader Buttimer marries his partner Conchober O’ Laoghaire

‘Celebration of their love for each other and futures together.’

Sligo News File

The Fine Gael leader of the Seanad, fifty-year-old homosexual Jerry Buttimer has married his partner Conchober O Laoghaire in a ceremony at the Triskel Christchurch venue in Cork.

Buttimer, who according to Wikipedia, studied for the priesthood for six years at St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth, said the occasion today was a celebration of his and Ó Laoghaire’s love for each other and their futures together.

Guests at the ceremony included Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and his partner Barrett; Enda Kenny, Reilly, Coveney, Mary O’Connor and other members of the political establishment.

 

Kent wins further term as president of the ICSA

‘Source fodder for farmers in border and western regions struggling
with weather related shortages immediate priority of association’

Sligo News File

Wexford suckler and sheep farmer Patrick Kent has been returned as president of the ICSA for a third term.

Speaking following his election in Portlaoise Mr. Kent said the immediate priority of his association “is to get fodder to farmers in border and western regions struggling with weather related shortages.

He said: “ICSA is actively sourcing fodder to help and is also pushing for Government assistance in the form of transport subsidies and meal vouchers.

“Further down the line, Mercosur and CAP reform will be critical issues in 2018.

Commenting on the threat posed by climate change, he spoke of the
need to turn the debate “towards policies which recognise the
potentially positive contribution of farmers in terms of more
renewables and recognising increased efficiencies in minimising
emissions and proper accounting of sequestration.”

He has pledged to “continue to fight against unfair inspection penalties and insist on payment on time for all schemes.”

Current ICSA rural development chairman Seamus Sherlock was
narrowly defeated in the campaign for the presidency.

Farmers and other taxpayers may have to fill multi-billion euro gap in EU Budget owing to withdrawal of UK from Union

Departure of Britain ‘will leave €12bn hole in EU finances’

Cabinet go ahead for Ireland to join new EU army

Sligo News File.

Farmers may have to contribute toward their CAP entitlements if Brussels decides to force Ireland and other states to fill the EU budget shortfall arising out of the UKs withdrawal from the EU.

EU Commissioner for Agriculture & Rural Development Hogan

EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan has reportedly said the departure of Britain from the Union would leave a €12bn gap in the EU budgets.

According to the Independent, he said that calls by some Member States to strengthen security, defence and migration spend could put increased pressure on CAP funds.

The report quotes him as stating that “To fulfil a budget the EU would have to ask Member States to contribute more of gross national income from the current 1pc.

“If they decided to increase that from 1pc to 1.1pc or 1.2pc as the Budget Commissioner has been asking, that helps enormously in filling the gap in our resources.”

Ireland is currently a net contributor to the EU Budget.

In 2014 farmers and other Irish taxpayers handed over €168m more to the EU than the State received in grants and payments.

Meanwhile, the Government has sparked fury after apparently voting to engage Ireland in a new European Army.

 

 

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is reported to have stated it as his view that “a Europe that is worth building is a Europe that is worth defending.”

However, there are indications that the Government could face a constitutional challenge over the involvement of the Irish people in the EU military alliance – the Permanent Structured Cooperation in Defence or PESCO.

The plan for an EU army is provided for in Article 42.6 of the Treaty on the European Union which was carried into effect by the Treaty of Lisbon on which the Irish electorate was forced to vote twice.

The Treaty initially was rejected mostly out of fear it would pave the way for ‘neutral’ Ireland to be forced to participate in an EU military force of the kind to which it’s believed the cabinet has now given the green light and conscription.

Some 56% of women voted against the Lisbon first time round.

Richard Boyd Barrett of People Before Profit/Solidarity has accused the Government of “pulling a fast one” and warned that the opposition might challenge the move on constitutional grounds.

Independents 4 Change TD Mick Wallace said if Ireland joins the EU military force it will be the final nail in the coffin of Irish neutrality.

Easing means test rules would enable people in need of care to be looked after in own home – MacSharry

‘Funding for supports to allow older people stay at home best value for money and the option people and their families would choose.’

Sligo News File.

A change in the means test would enable people in need of care to be looked after at home. So claims Sligo TD Marc MacSharry who has said the current programme is costing the State around €1,000 weekly in fair deal costs or €1,000 daily for an acute bed.

These costs, he said: “could be vastly reduced if proper supports

Marc MacSharry TD

were put in place to allow people be cared for at home.

“Funding to allow older people stay at home provides not only the best value for money but is also the option that most older people and their families would choose.”

He stated that last week he questioned “the Secretary General of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection at the Public Accounts Committee, on whether any research had been conducted on the potential benefit of loosening or relaxing the means test for the Carer’s Allowance, which, together with the provision of a medical card, some home help hours and perhaps a housing adaptation grant, might help to afford people the dignity of staying at home. Remarkably he admitted that the matter had never been investigated.”

 

MacSharry said he was now pressuring the Minister of Health, the Minister for Employment Affairs & Social Protection, and the Minister for Public Expenditure & Reform “to come together and explore the possibility of coming up with a package of supports designed to assist older people who wished to be cared for in their own environment.”

Roscommon TD to Taoiseach: ‘When will we see real jobs coming to the regions?’

‘700 people living in County Roscommon must get on a train or a bus or into a car everyday and travel to Dublin for work.’

Sligo News File

A local TD has challenged the Taoiseach about the lack of jobs in the West claiming that hundreds of workers have to get up at 4.00 am to travel from Roscommon for employment in Dublin.

Describing the situation as “shocking,” Deputy Eugene Murphy reminded the Varadkar that recent Central Statistics Office figures show that “700 people living in County Roscommon must get on a train or a bus or into a car everyday and travel to Dublin for work.”

He said: “We are over 20 months into this Government, but very little has happened on regional development.

Eugene Murphy TD,
Strokestown

“The Taoiseach talks about it the whole time and constantly says it will happen, but it is not happening in our county or many other rural
counties.

“When will we see real jobs coming to the regions?” he asked.

“These people have to get up at 4 o’clock and 4.30 in the morning. I
know the Taoiseach likes people who get up early in the morning, but if they could get up at 7 o’clock or 8 o’clock; it might be better for them.”

Varadkar said that unemployment had fallen and the number of jobs
had increased “in every county in Ireland; 80% of the new jobs created in the past year, or so were created outside the Dublin area.

“Obviously, people make decisions for many different reasons. I
appreciate it is a very long way to travel from Roscommon to Dublin,
but there are people in other rural counties who choose to commute
and who want to live in rural areas and commute to work.

“One cannot assume that if 700 jobs were provided in Roscommon, all these people would necessarily give up their jobs in Dublin and take up the jobs in Roscommon,” he said.

Government Housing Plan – 55 to a single dwelling?

Place closed in 2011.

Sligo News File.

The Dail has been told plans are afoot to move 55 migrants into a single house in Killarney.

Deputy Danny Healy-Rae who highlighted  the apparent proposal

Danny Healy-Rae TD

said there has been “no consultation with the local authority or the Garda, whose station is on the same road.

“There are community schools and national schools, including the Presentation convent school and St. Brendan’s College, on the same road.

“Some 55 men are being put into one house.”

Healy-Rae said there was an uproar in the Dail “after a television programme which highlighted large numbers of people staying in a single house in Dublin.”

Remarking that Deputy Stanton, the Minister of State with responsibility for Immigration and Integration was present, Healy-Rae asked: “Will he consult with the community, the Garda and the local authority or will he take this high-handed action without giving local people say in what is happening?”

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan stated the residence referred to by Healy-Rae was closed in 2011.

“Consideration is now being given to re-opening it,” he said.

“I do not have details on the local issues involved, but I will be happy to convey the Deputy’s concerns that there should be an engagement with local public representatives.”

Healy-Rae: “It does not have capacity for 55 men.”

 

Farmer fury over Government inaction on fodder crisis

‘Chronically low’ fodder levels in border counties.

Resounding demand for the immediate introduction of subsidy and distribution of meal vouchers to worst affected.

Sligo News File.

A strongly supported ICSA meeting in Ballyconnell, Co Cavan on Tuesday night witnessed “huge anger” over the reluctance of the Government to act on calls to roll out a scheme to aid farmers in areas where atrocious weather conditions have wreaked havoc on fodder harvesting.

ICSA president Patrick Kent addressing fodder crisis meeting in Ballyconnell

Commenting on “the anger of those present,” president of the ICSA Patrick Kent said it was clear from the meeting that farmers “are under pressure” and that immediate action is needed on the fodder crisis.

He said, “ICSA has been sourcing fodder from the Southern half of the country to distribute to those most in need. From the information we have gathered tonight, the need for fodder in this region is immense.”

Stressing that the efforts of the association will continue, he said: “a transport subsidy needs to be introduced as a matter of urgency as does a system of distributing meal vouchers to those worst affected.”

ICSA Cavan chairman Hugh Farrell said, “Fodder levels are chronically low due to the atrocious weather conditions we experienced in the border counties during the autumn months.

“It is imperative we get to grips with the situation now.”

He underlined that the mission of the ICSA “is to assist as many local farmers as possible.”

Braving appalling weather conditions, huge regional attendance at ICSA fodder crisis meeting in Cavan

A presentation by nutritionist Emmet Duffy of AW Ennis attracted keen interest. He proposed that the Government should subsidise products “such as alfalfa, lucerne or straw pellets which would be ideal for inclusion in fodder stretcher mixes.

“A subsidy of €50/ton could make a decisive difference. These products can provide an efficient alternative to the high cost of transporting bales which are scarce anyway.”

Mr. Kent observed that “We have to look for smart and efficient solutions which can be delivered at short notice. It’s time for shoulders to be put to the wheel and deliver these practical solutions without delay.”

Michael Davey of Specialist Nutrition pictured with Hugh Farrell, chairman, Cavan ICSA

ICSA calling fodder crisis meeting in Cavan

Pressure on government to provide subsidy for badly hit farmers high on agenda.

Association officials ‘will also be addressing the issue of slurry spreading’

All farmers welcome to attend.


Sligo News File

The ICSA is calling a crisis meeting in Cavan to “explore ways to cope with fodder scarcity and look at alternatives to too much dependency on hay, silage and straw.”

Demands on the government to roll out a subsidy for badly hit farmers is high on the agenda.

ICSA Cavan chairman Hugh Farrell said, “ICSA has pushed the Department of Agriculture for an urgent fodder transport subsidy. We have to get fodder to where it is needed most as a matter of urgency so the issue of subsidised transport needs to be addressed.

“We also need to look at ways of supplementing the fodder we do have in order to make it stretch. To this end, ICSA is also calling for a system of meal vouchers to be introduced to help those most affected.”

“ICSA officials will also be addressing the issue of slurry spreading on the night so I would also encourage anybody affected by that issue to attend also,” he said

Venue for the meeting on next Tuesday 12 December is the Slieve Russell Hotel in Ballyconnell where proceedings are scheduled to get underway at 8.00pm.

Guest speakers on the night will be:

Michael Davey
Beef & Dairy Nutritionist with Specialist Nutrition

Emmet Duffy
AW Ennis – Erin Farm Feeds

Adam Woods
Farmers Journal

Patrick Kent
ICSA National President

The meeting is open to all farmers.

For further information, please contact Hugh Farrell, ICSA Cavan

chairman, on 083 4841714 or ICSA office on 057 8662120.