Category Archives: News

Rooskey hotel earmarked for migrants damaged by fire again

Incident condemned by local group.

Sligo News File.

A prime hotel earmarked as a reception centre for mainly African migrants has been damaged by fire for the second time.

Shannon Key West Hotel

Fire previously broke out at the Shannon Key West hotel in Rooskey last month.

Despite a critical lack of services locally, the government has said it proposes to house 80 migrants in the rural Leitrim hotel. 

Abbeyfield Hotel

Currently, about 220 migrants or refugees are being housed nearby at the Abbeyfield Hotel in Ballaghaderreen.

A hotel in Donegal which had been booked by the government to accommodate a further 100 migrants was damaged by fire last November.

Locals calling themselves the Leitrim Roscommon United Against Racism group have denounced the Rooskey incident.

According to a tourism marketing advertisement, the Shannon Key West Hotel has 39 “elegantly styled and beautifully appointed” rooms, “most with enchanting River Shannon views.”

The hotel is located by the River Shannon, 14km west of Longford on the N4 Dublin to Sligo route.

“Discerning guests will appreciate the comfort of our hospitality tray, garment press, hairdryer and satellite TV,” states the advertisement.

Group protest outside the home of health minister

Growing anger over nurses’ strike and children’s hospital overrun.

Sligo News File.

Protestors earlier today staged a protest outside the home of the health minister, Harris.

Meanwhile, public anger over the government’s handling of the nurses’ strike and the multi-million euro overrun on Dublin’s new children’s hospital is growing.

A video placed online claims Harris is not qualified for the job and references issues including the smear test scandal and the hospital trolley crisis.

The video adds: “Simon is part of Fine Gael party the same party who voted for the eviction bill to be signed.”

The group, who apparently said the protest was about “austerity” dispersed quietly.

The protest has been condemned by the government-backing Fianna Fáil party.

No garda station or cath lab for Sligo

Cold comfort for the North West.

Sligo News File.

Is there a hope of Sligo being provided with a new garda station anytime soon? From accounts, it does not seem likely. Sligo also continues to be sidelined for the long-promised permanent cath lab.

Some say the multi-million overrun for the €2 billion children’s hospital in Dublin has drained the State of funding which could have been dipped into for projects in the North West.

As of now, local TDs do not, at any rate, appear able to get things moving on either the CAT lab or the garda station.

Marc MacSharry, whose Fianna Fail party is keeping the Fine Gael-led government in power has said he is disappointed that despite the purchase of a site and the chronic conditions officers are expected to work in at the current garda headquarters, “no timeline could be provided for the delivery of the new station in Sligo.

“The need for additional capacity at Tubbercurry is also being ignored,” he said.

Referencing the CAT lab, he said the Minister for Health “could not detail when or even if Sligo General Hospital will receive approval for a permanent CAT lab.”

Waterford, he said, has received funding approval for an additional CAT lab while the people of the North West continue to be ignored.

“At the moment patients suffering a cardiac arrest are forced to travel to Galway despite the fact that best practice dictates that these people need to be admitted to hospital within a 90-minute window if they are to get the best outcome.”

Sligo-Leitrim has four Dail deputies: MacSharry and Eamon Scanlon, Fianna Fail, Tony McLoughlin, Fine Gael and Martin Kenny, Sinn Fein.

One welcome bit of good news via Scanlon is that a new GP will be moving into Carrigallen in May. Until then the community will be served by a locum practitioner.

Woman Farmer of Year get role in Leinster farm organisation

‘Voice of women in agriculture hasn’t been heard.’

Sligo News File.

Mona Donoghue Concannon has been elected Connacht Vice President of the Offaly-based ICSA.

She has reportedly stated that for too long the voice of women in agriculture hasn’t been heard.

Meanwhile, IFA Animal Health Chairman Pat Farrell has called on the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed reject the proposal to impose a 30-day pre-movement TB test on animals in the Delegated Acts under the New EU Animal Health Law.

He said the implementation of the control on animal movements would impact severely on the regular trade for cattle and add unnecessary costs to the TB programme.

2017 UK Market for Irish agri-food products worth €5.2 billion – Creed

‘Range of measures to help agri sectors to deal with the impacts of Brexit.’

Sligo News File.

The value of the UK market for agri-food products was confirmed by Michael Creed, the agriculture Minister following a Dail query posted by Jackie Cahill, TD.

Total exports to the UK market amounted, he said to €5.2 billion in 2017. Some 48% of Ireland’s 2017beef exports, valued at €1,162 million, were shipped to Britain.

“Dairy exports from Ireland in 2017 were valued at €4,646m, of which 21 per cent (€997m) were sent to the UK. However, certain dairy exports (cheddar & other cheeses for example) rely almost entirely on the UK market.

“Under the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Most Favoured Nation (MFN) tariffs and duty rates for certain beef products are equivalent to a 70% tariff rate and for certain
dairy products up to the equivalent of a 50% tariff rate

“Retention of the UK market for the dairy and beef industry is a key component of the Government’s response to Brexit. In addition, I have introduced a range of measures to help these sectors to deal with the impacts of Brexit –

” – In Budget 2017, a farm-gate business costs reduction measure in order to enhance competitiveness, including a €150m low-cost loan scheme;

” – In Budget 2018, a €50m, dedicated Brexit package which included a contribution to a €300m (joint DAFM/DBEI) ‘Brexit Loan Scheme’, at least 40% of which is available to food businesses.

” – In Budget 2019, a €78m Brexit package for farmers, fishermen, food SMEs and to cover additional costs related to Brexit.

“It is also important to point out that the additional funding that I have provided to Bord Bia since the UK referendum – a total of €19.5 million – is being used, among other things, to provide direct support and advice to individual companies in relation to market diversification and to compile its market prioritisation reports, which are informing its own and my Department’s work in this area.

“In addition, I have met with the chief executives of all of the major British retailers to impress upon them the commitment of Irish suppliers in continuing to supply the UK market post-Brexit.

“More generally, the pursuit and development of new markets for Irish agri-food exports, including dairy and beef exports, is an ongoing and central component of the strategic development of the agri-food sector, as evidenced by its placement right at the centre of Food Wise 2025, the industry’s strategy for development over the coming years,” he added

Dail hears beef farmers earning less than €200 a week

Price drop of €100 per head.

Sligo News File.

Beef farming is at rock bottom.

Michael Creed, TD,
Minister for Agriculture

Deputy Aindrias Moynihan told the Dail that half of the country’s beef farmers are earning less than €10,000 a year, three quarters less than  €20,000 and in the past year prices have flopped by upwards of €100 per head.

He said: “There is phenomenal pressure, on top of which is Brexit which also exerts huge pressure. Beef farmers believe their needs are not being met.”

Minister Michael Creed said he was conscious that 2018 was a difficult year for the suckler beef sector, “particularly in terms of unprecedented weather events which resulted in increased input costs owing to fodder shortages. We must also acknowledge the exposure of the sector to Brexit impacts.”

He then went on to list government measures designed to help the beleaguered industry.

€20 million for a new beef environmental efficiency pilot scheme focussed on carbon efficiency

€23 million ANC increase

GLAS, ANCs and knowledge transfer programme.

Suckler cow farmers also benefit from the basic payment scheme and greening payments under Pillar 1 of the CAP.

He strongly felt that the range of supports available to suckler cow farmers “is appropriate for the continued development of the sector.”

Report of national review group will decide case for permanent cath lab in Sligo – Harris

Increased health budget will enable further investment in North West services.

Sligo News File.

Harris the Health Minister has said the government will make a decision on a cath lab for Sligo based on the clinical advice and the report provided by the national review group in June.

Harris, the health minister

He said this was asking “medics and patients to come together under an independent chair and look at the best and fairest way to distribute specialist services” across the
country.

Replying further to a question from a TD, he said: “While the national children’s hospital will take up approximately 20% of my Department’s capital budget- by the way 25% of our population comprises children – 80% of the budget will be spent on items that have nothing whatsoever to do with that hospital.

“There will be significant increases in capital expenditure in health. That is clear to see.

“The budget for the next ten years is almost €11 billion compared to just €4 billion for the past ten years. That will enable us to invest in furthering services in the north-west, not just the cath lab but the additional bed block that is badly needed at Sligo University Hospital,” he added

Castlebar earmarked as the location for US company

Facility to provide 500 jobs – over the next five years

Sligo News File

A United States manufacturing facility plans to extend its operations Castlebar.

Meissner Filtration Products has said the company would generate 500 jobs over a five-year time frame.

The development, to be located at an IDA-built factory in the town will be the firm’s first manufacturing facility in Europe. It is scheduled to commence operations in 2020.

The new jobs will be in manufacturing, operations, management, human resources and engineering.