North West out of National Planning Framework

‘No town or village north of Galway and Dublin has been mentioned.’

‘People are incensed.’

Sligo News File.

A Fianna Fail TD has spoken of the fury that the exclusion of the North West from the Nationa Planning Framework has sparked throughout the region.

Marc MacSharry TD…people incensed over exclusion of North West from government’s National Framework Plan

Marc MacSharry said people living in Sligo, Donegal, Leitrim and even parts of the Midlands “are incensed by the Government’s draft National Planning Framework.”

“No town or village north of Galway and Dublin has been mentioned,” he said, thereby “exposing the government’s Dublin and urban focused attitude to investment.

“Towns like Sligo, Letterkenny and Carrick on Shannon are crying out for investment. The fact that there still isn’t a motorway from either Dublin or Galway to the North West speaks volumes about where its place on the priority list is.

“This region has been completely forgotten by Fine Gael and this draft plan is an indication that it has no intention of changing that.”

The Sligo-Leitrim Deputy said he attended this week’s public meeting in Athlone, at which people living across the North West and midlands were “extremely vocal in their anger.

“They’re tired of hearing about the economic recovery and not feeling or seeing any of the effects. Many do not even have access to essential services like a decent broadband connection, never mind expecting high tech infrastructure projects to begin on their doorstep.

“The government,” he said “must devise a strategy, backed by investment to ensure that the regions can perform to their potential.

“Fine Gael TDs and Senators appear to be finally waking up to the fact that the draft plan is a shambles, especially for people living in this region.”

Adding that he had made submissions during the consultation process on National Planning Framework, he said he will be “continuing to keep pressure on local TDs and Ministers
to start delivering for the North West.”

Farmers in worst affected areas unable to access Fodder Transport Scheme – ICSA

‘Getting to the bottom of whether you’re eligible or not for the subsidy proving problematic.’

Sligo News File

ICSA has scheduled a meeting with Teagasc officials for the coming Friday, 9 February, “to seek further clarification on the scope of the Fodder Transport Scheme.”

The association says its understanding is that “farmers in several of the worst affected areas including Mayo, Galway, Roscommon, Longford, Cavan and Monaghan, Westmeath and West Limerick have so far been unable to access the scheme.”

ICSA Cavan chairman Hugh Farrell said, “ICSA understands from our discussions with the Department that where fodder is not available within 100km of a farm, then the farmer should be entitled to get the subsidy assuming he has done a fodder budgeting exercise with Teagasc.

“However, the issue of eligibility for the scheme has been coming up over and over again for our members.

He said: “The scheme had initially been warmly welcomed, however, it would appear that getting to the bottom of whether you’re eligible or not for the subsidy has been proving problematic.

“Here in Cavan the need for fodder has been well and truly established by the farmers on the ground so it’s very frustrating that we and other counties have to wait so long to be considered eligible.

Gabriel Gilmartin, Chairman, ICMSA Sligo

“ICSA will be looking to have the whole process streamlined if the scheme is to have any real benefit.”

Sligo ICSA chairman Gabriel Gilmartin said the association “will also be seeking the inclusion of small square bales in the scheme. Currently the smallest bales covered are 6’ft x 3’ft x 2’ft which are not suitable for everybody.

“We see no reason for the exclusion of small square bales,” he said