Category Archives: News

MacSharry wants Fianna Fail to end confidence and supply arrangement with government

‘Three years has been long enough.’

Sligo News File

A Fianna Fail TD wants an end to his party’s confidence and supply deal with the government.

Marc MacSharry TD

Fianna Fail has been keeping the Fine Gael-led administration in power for the last three years.

But now Sligo-Leitrim deputy Marc MacSharry has said Fianna Fail should walk away from the agreement.

Shannonside FM reports him as voicing “his personal view” that “three years has been long enough” and that his party should not renew the confidence and supply arrangement with Fine Gael.

Government allocates €12 million of the budget for abortion and five euros for pensioners

Nothing much in budget for farming and struggling rural economy.

Homeless must wait.

Hospitality industry rammed with sweeping hike in VAT.

Sligo News File.

The budget has offered a little spread thinly over many sectors. Five euros for pensioners, same for welfare recipients and others.

Some small reliefs for some in farming, similar for rural maintenance. But major blow to the rural hospitality industry where the prevailing 9% VAT rate has been hiked to a potentially crippling 13.5%.

Dublin’s homelessness crisis jars with narrative of Irish economic boom – Guardian

No early cheer for the homeless, four thousand of them children left to suffer in emergency accommodation, if not on the street.

Greens and tree huggers are disappointed carbon tax has been sidelined. Some eco-warriors are understood to be worried that the end of the world is nigh because of Irish families escaping jacked up emission levies.  

The big budget winner is abortion service, for which the government has allocated €12 million – suggesting infant killing procedures are destined to be offered free, and also even at the  expense of taxpayers who opposed the introduction of abortion in the referendum. 

Micky Martin, the leader of the Fianna Fail outfit helping to keep the Fine Gael-led government in place, has reportedly contacted the Taoiseach, Varadkar to seek an extension of the confidence and supply agreement.

Brexit and shaky global economy threats are looming. 


Make Sligo ‘breastfeeding friendly city’

Proposal to be discussed at municipal council meeting.

Sligo News File.

Councillors are to consider a motion seeking to make Sligo “a breastfeeding friendly city.”

Listed in the names of Councillor S. Maguire and Councillor M. Casserly, the matter is to be discussed at the next monthly meeting of the Sligo Municipal council on Monday.

The motion states: “That Sligo will become a Breastfeeding Friendly city and introduce the supports required to encourage more mothers to begin and continue breastfeeding for longer.”

Another Councillor is calling on the county council to “commence the process to survey the existing landing facilities at Inismurray,” to design necessary improvements and carry out required works with support on funding, if needed, from the Department of Transport, Marine and the Environment.

ICSA Budget Reaction: ‘payment for weighing calves a good move’

Welcome for full restoration of the ANC payment which was slashed during the downturn.

Sligo News File

ICSA president Patrick Kent has welcomed the €40 for weighing calves announced in today’s budget. “ICSA asked Minister Creed for this in 2016 as a means of making the BDGP more accurate and rewarding farmers for putting real information into the ICBF database. An accurate calf weight is a real measure of how a cow is performing because it captures genetic potential for growth as well as milk.”

Patrick Kent, president ICSA…mixed reaction to budget

Mr Kent also welcomed the full restoration of the ANC payment which was slashed during the downturn. “This has been a real loss of income to our most disadvantaged farmers and it is high time it was restored.”

Stock reliefs

He also welcomed the extension of stock reliefs for another three years and the three year extension of stamp duty exemption for young farmers.

However, Mr Kent was more critical of other taxation measures. “The minor level of improvement on earned income tax credits and on the Category A thresholds for Capital Acquisitions Tax represent at best a begrudging admission that they are worthwhile and at worst a rowing back of the ambition set out in previous budgets. The earned income tax credit was only increased by €200 to €1,350 as happened last year as well.


“But the various reports on taxation have highlighted that there is a serious inequality with PAYE workers who qualify for a credit of €1,650. When Minister Noonan began the process of rectifying this blatant unfairness for self-employed workers it was indicated that it would be done over three budgets with an increase of €550 each time. We are now looking at this process being dragged out over seven years. There is no justification for this.

“Similarly, the increase in the Group A threshold for CAT covering gifts and inheritances has to be seen in the context that the thresholds were cut severely in the past and that there is an acceptance that the current level exposes many people to heavy tax burdens on taking over the family business.”

Mr Kent said that many farmers would be amazed at the substantial increase in afforestation money compared to what is being directed at livestock farming. “There is a serious question over blanket sitka spruce plantations both in terms of climate change and impact on rural communities.”

Diesel fuels rural economy

However, Mr Kent welcomed no increase in carbon taxes on fuel which he said did nothing to change behaviour for rural motorists who no option except to use diesel for transport.

“Diesel fuels the rural economy and there is no realistic alternative for agricultural machinery or for haulage of inputs and outputs in rural areas.”

Sligo County Council Roadworks

Roadworks: North Sligo

Roadworks shall take place on Local Road L-3203-0 , Cloontyprocklis, Grange commencing Wednesday 10th October outside the new Wastewater Treatment Works.

Grange Village

Traffic management will be in operation. Works expected to last two days.

American military using Shannon to ‘funnel death and destruction around the world’ – Wallace

‘What is happening in Yemen is horrific.’

Sligo News File.

The American military has been using Shannon airport to funnel death and destruction around the world.

Making the charge, TD Mick Wallace told the Dail that “what it is doing in Yemen today has to be the most inhuman and disgusting episode yet.

“What is happening to that country is horrific, and we do not even get proper news coverage of it because the mainstream media is controlled in terms of the information being presented on that conflict.

People fighting for their lives

“The line bandied about is that the people being targeted are Houthis and supported by Iran. That is absolute nonsense. They are ordinary people, fighting for their lives and their dignity.

“White phosphorous was dropped in north Yemen by the bucketful. Did it come through Shannon? Do we care?”

White phosphorous

He added: “The Minister has said that other Departments are making these calls, but the Defence Forces are in Shannon and are looking after planes that could be carrying cluster bombs or white phosphorous on their way to Yemen, the Saudis or the United Arab Emirates.

“It is simply immoral.”

IDA organised visits to sites in North West

Mayo, Cavan, Leitrim, Donegal bottom of IDA list of site visits in 2018.

Sligo News File.

There were only four IDA site visits to Mayo in the first half of 2018, according to the Minister for Business and Enterprise.

In the same period the IDA laid on more than 140 visits to sites in Dublin.

IDA promotion of the North West included just one site visit to Cavan, eight to Roscommon, four to Mayo, six to Leitrim, eight to Sligo, and three to Donegal.

Rural areas of the region continue to struggle economically, most of all the farming sector. Services also have been cut on a massive scale. Provision of much promised speed broadband is still as far away as ever.

The Sligo-Leitrim constituency alone has four TDs – Tony McLoughlin, Fine Gael, Marc MacSharry and Eamon Scanlon, Fianna Fail, and Martin Kenny Sinn Fein


Meat factories cutting price in one of the worst ever years for beef producers

‘Beyond belief meat industry would seek to increase profits on the backs of farmers.’

‘Time for…fight back.

‘Meat industry cannot be allowed to drive farmers out of business.’

Sligo News File.

The Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers Association has protested outside ABP over what they have denounced as “an orchestrated effort” by meat factories to drive down prices being paid to beef farmers.

“Farmers in the beef sector have been crucified by beef price cuts in a year when they have substantial extra costs due to extreme weather,” said the chairman of the association’s national beef committee chairman Edmund Graham.

He said: “It is beyond belief that in a year like this when farmers are on their knees with extra cost arising from a fodder crisis that the meat industry would seek to increase profits on the back of farmers.

Orchestrated effort to drive down price

Referring to what he described as “an orchestrated effort to drive down price at a rate of 5c/kg/week,”, he said “the current price of €3.70/kg is totally inadequate when costs

of production are at least €4.40/kg for cattle from the dairy herd. Meanwhile, the suckler herd is not profitable unless price is closer to €5/kg.”

Declaring it was time for farmers to fight back, he said: “We cannot go on working for nothing and risking substantial capital finishing cattle especially as we enter the expensive winter finishing period.”

He also hit out at the failure of new international markets to deliver strong prices for the farming sector. “Compared to five years ago we have seen the opening of markets in the USA, China, South East Asia and this week Kuwait. Yet there has been no benefit to farmers and prices today are weaker than five years ago.

“Meat factories and retailers love to talk about sustainable systems of beef production. ICSA believes that unless cattle farmer incomes are economically sustainable, all the rest is just pie in the sky.

Meat factories using their own feedlots to manipulate price

“The meat industry cannot be allowed drive farmers out of business. ICSA believes it is an unacceptable element of the sector that meat factories are using their own feedlots to manipulate price. The price cutting is also a way of subduing store cattle price with a view to getting cheaper cattle for their own feedlots.

“ICSA is sending out a strong message that farmers cannot stand idly by as their livelihoods are being decimated.

“Further action cannot be ruled out,” he warned.