‘Move marks a step forward on the road to greater transparency along the entirety of the food chain’

Sligo News File

Dermot Kelleher, President, Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers Association

ICSA president Dermot Kelleher has welcomed the signing by Minister Charlie McConalogue of a new statutory implement giving effect to EU Rules on Price Reporting that will impose greater price reporting obligations on processors and retailers under Irish law. “For the first time processors will not only be obliged to report data on prices paid to farmers for their cattle and sheep, but they will also be obliged to supply information relating to the onward sale of that product to wholesalers and retailers.”

“This move marks a step forward on the road to greater transparency along the entirety of the food chain. For too long the profit margins on key products such as beef and lamb have been shrouded in secrecy. There is no question that this has resulted in massive profiteering off the backs of our hard-working primary producers.”

Mr Kelleher said ICSA has been campaigning for greater openness in the beef and sheepmeat sectors for many years, “We started back in 2014 when Simon Coveney was minister, and we took the case to Europe and the then EU Farm Commissioner Phil Hogan. Our efforts led to the introduction of the Unfair Trading Practices (UTP) directive which, while a step in the right direction, was never on its own going to be enough when applied to the beef sector in particular.”

“The next step must be the establishment of a dedicated beef regulator. The legislation announced today paves the way for this, but it requires even further legislation. The onus is now on Minister McConalogue to deliver on this additional legislation, and to ensure that such a beef regulator has all the necessary investigative powers to be truly effective.”

Sligo Airport continues to be left in limbo by Department and Irish Coastguard-Walsh

‘Works have been completed on the runway and it is vital now that the state step-up and provide support for the service like it has provided to other airports’

Sligo News File

Cllr. Thomas Walsh, FG, Director, Sligo Airport

Fine Gael Councillor and Director of Sligo Airport, Cllr Thomas Walsh has hit out has what he has described as a “shocking level of disrespect shown to Sligo Airport.

The airport was issued with an Operational Directive by the Irish Aviation Authority in October 2020 mandating it to carry out upgrading works by the end of January. To continue to adhere to these regulatory requirements, the airport required two major pieces of infrastructure to be updated:

·         Runway upgrading works:  

·         Production of new Instrument Flight Procedures. 

Both of these investments have now been completed at an investment of €200,000 funded by Sligo Airport with a further €80,000 of works under phase 2 still to be completed.

Works have been completed on the runway and it is vital now that the state step-up and provide support for the service like it has provided to other airports.

Despite repeated requests to the Department of Transport to ascertain public funding support for these works, none has been forthcoming so far. At a meeting in December 2020, with the Irish Coastguard, Dept of Transport, Public Representatives and Irish Maritime Safety Office, it was agreed that Sligo Airport work with CHC Helicopters to absorb these costs, who in turn could potentially pass them back to the Irish Coastguard.

To date despite good progress and agreement made with CHC, there is no indication or progress on this matter from the Irish Coastguard or Department of Transport despite several communications between from the Board of Directors of Sligo Airport. Indeed 

Cllr Walsh said “Sligo Airport is the busiest coastguard base in the country ahead of Shannon, Dublin and Waterford with the airport providing an efficient base for many successful missions for almost 30 years. Indeed as per the Coastguards own heat map Grange in Sligo is the centre of all these missions carried out by Rescue 118 from West Galway to Belfast. 

“The airport is now seeking support towards the necessary capital enhancement works on the runway of €300,000 and operational support of €100,000 per year over 3 – 5 years to allow it to realise and implement a 5 year strategy that will see the airport become a self-sustaining business entity.

“It is time for clarity to be forthcoming on this issue.”


‘It is equally galling to see no financial effort being made by meat companies to build brand awareness around grass-fed beef and its health and nutritional benefits’

Dermot Kelleher, President, Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers Association



Sligo News File

ICSA president Dermot Kelleher has said livestock farmers will feel betrayed by the business strategy of the ABP group to become a big player in plant based alternatives to meat products. 

“An examination of the ABP subsidiary DOPSU raises many questions about the vulnerability of livestock systems that have become utterly dependent on multi-billion euro companies.”

“It sharply exposes the fact that no, we are not all in this together. For many years now, ICSA has repeatedly called for innovation in the marketing of beef, lamb, and organic products. We have fought a lonely battle with other farm organisations in standing up for the sustainability and nutritional and health value of beef and lamb. But the very companies that have made billions from beef and lamb exports have done little or nothing to help other than to sell as cheaply as possible and pass costs back to the farmer.”

“It is glaringly obvious that the meat processors’ only response to consumer trends and emerging concerns about sustainability is to get Bord Bia to impose a set of rules on farmers under the guise of quality assurance. I don’t see a single example of innovative marketing funded by meat factories to fight back against the relentless anti-meat propaganda. Daily, farmers are forced to look on helplessly at the multi-million euro vegan billboard campaigns but there is no money being invested by meat companies in counteracting this, despite the fact that they have billions of retained profits.”

“It is equally galling to see no financial effort being made by meat companies to build brand awareness around grass-fed beef and its health and nutritional benefits. All the meat companies have done is leave it to Bord Bia to develop a grass-fed standard which primarily imposes more conditions and costs on farmers and this initiative is paid for by the taxpayer and the farmer levies which fund Bord Bia.”

“ABP are the leading player in Irish beef and lamb, but we have seen nothing like the levels of slick marketing that they have given over to their new plant based fake meat substitutes.”

“ABP also has control of the organic meat sector as well but instead of investing in innovation, the sector is stagnant. It is a stunning indictment that there is so little effort made to grow Irish organic beef and lamb exports that we have now arrived at the stage where the organic farming scheme has given up on the meat sectors and is focused instead on dairy, tillage and horticulture.”

“However, the approach with DOPSU is eye opening. In contrast to the way that beef, lamb, and organic meats have been left languish with minimal innovation in marketing, suddenly an ABP subsidiary has clearly undergone a Damascus-like conversion to modern marketing and innovation, using cutting-edge business school techniques to magic up a new brand of plant based alternatives to meat. 

It is clear that a lot of money and effort has gone into this project, which has all the indicators of innovation theory, design thinking and the use of focus groups to capture the younger consumer.  Contrast this with the fact that for many years, ICSA has called for innovation from meat factories to get more young consumers on board with lamb and beef. But this has been ignored by meat factories.”

“APB have described their new range of products as the ‘meatiest non-meats around’, and the accompanying website has all the hallmarks of big budget glossy innovation. Can the same be said about their marketing of beef or lamb? I think not. Nowhere have they shown even a fraction of similar creative thinking.”

“The fanfare continues with the products being extolled as being of similar nutritional value to real meat; more sustainable; and more environmentally friendly to boot. We are told that they commissioned a cradle to gate lifecycle report from Carbon Analytics, and that they are delighted to say that ‘everything came up roses.‘ Again, we must question why these same techniques have not been used to show the world just how sustainable and environmentally friendly the production of Irish beef and lamb is? We have a great story to tell, however, APB appear completely disinterested in telling it.”

“And if you’re wondering what plants are actually contained in their plant based no-beef pieces, here’s the complete list: Water, Vegetable Proteins (WHEAT), Rapeseed Oil, WHEAT Powder, Pea Protein, Potato Starch, Thickener (Methyl Cellulose), Gelling Agent (Carrageenan), Seasoning (Flavouring, Potato Maltodextrin, Salt, Modified Tapioca Starch, Sugar, Waxy Maize Maltodextrin, Tapioca Maltodextrin, Vegetable Oil, Sodium Citrate, Ascorbic Acid), BARLEY Malt Extract and Salt.” 

“To add insult to injury they are ‘seasoned with rich meat free ‘beef’ flavouring.’ You couldn’t make it up. There is also no mention of where they are going to source all those ingredients.

“ABP has grown into a multi-billion euro empire on the backs of Irish beef farmers, but this decision to divert the profits into plant based meat substitutes – something that could undermine, or even destroy, the Irish beef and lamb sectors – is truly galling.”

Sligo County Council orders ban on bathing at Enniscrone

Tests indicate ‘High levels of Intestinal Enterococci’ in waters of the beach

Sligo News File

Signs have gone up in Enniscrone warning swimmers to keep clear of the beach waters.

According to a notice issued by Sligo County Council, the waters are in a health-threatening state.

The ban on swimming was ordered with effect from earlier this week.

It’s understood from a statement published on the authority’s website that microbiological analyses of the water revealed the presence of ‘high levels’ of Intestinal Enterococci, leaving the water “non-compliant with bathing water regulations.’

Enterococci are indicators of the presence of faecal material in water and, therefore, of the possible presence of disease-causing bacteria, viruses, and protozoa, pathogens potentially injurious to swimmers and others who use the waters.

The incident is one of a number recorded over a period in relation to the waters in Enniscrone– it’s believed that last year an Advice Not To Swim notice was erected at the beach due to an ‘infrastructure malfunction’  which could have had an impact on water quality.

Enniscrone, which is on the route of the heavily promoted Wild Atlantic Way, lost its Blue Flag status some years ago owing to the waters failing to meet the standard required for the grant of the award. The flag has not been restored nor it seems has the beach since qualified for the Clean Coast Award.

A village improvement plan is proposed for the resort but to date, no solution appears to be in the pipeline for the control of waters flowing onto the beach from a nearby river, the Bellawaddy, a long-time cause of concern.

The swimming prohibition notice now in place will stand ‘until it is proven that there is no risk to bathers,” states the council.  A similar order applies to Mullaghmore.



‘This a political, not a scientific document’

August 9, 2021

Sterling Burnett:

“Last week, the IPCC admitted the newest climate models they used in their report are flawed, running unrealistically hot. Yet, rather than delaying their report, they released it based on unbelievable inputs. How can the IPCC claim to have ‘high confidence’ that the warming of the past 50, 100, or 150 years is unusual, much less unequivocally caused by humans, when the models used to source the claim don’t track observed temperature data sets from weather balloons or satellites? The answer is, they can’t. This a political, not a scientific document.

“It’s like a doctor notifying a patient that his or her X-rays and lab tests were flawed and need to be done again with better equipment, which doesn’t exist. But in the meantime, we can say with ‘high confidence’ you are getting sicker, and are going to die, unless we do major surgery to remove a key organ vital to continued survival, which is what fossil fuels are.”

Sterling Burnett, Ph.D.
Senior Fellow, Environment & Energy Policy The Heartland Institute
Managing Editor, Environment & Climate News


Anthony Watts:

“The new IPCC report is nothing new. If you track the history of UN climate statements all the way back to 1972, Maurice Strong, first UN Environment Program director warned that “the world had just 10 years to avoid catastrophe” and he was speaking of global cooling then. When the alarm switched to global warming, similar gloomy statements were made by the UN in 19821989199020072015, and in 2018. An example: “If there’s no action before 2012, that’s too late,” said former IPCC Chairman Rajendra Pachauri in 2007.

It seems that climate disaster is always just five to10 years away, but none of the predictions of climate doom have yet to come true. The “before it is too late” claim has come and gone, many times.
And just last week, climate scientists admitted that their new AR6 generation of global climate models such as RCP8.5 are ‘implausibly hot’ and therefore incorrectly predicting a hellishly hot future. Their admission raises questions on the reliability of IPCC temperature forecasts often touted in the media and used to promote extreme climate action.

Anthony Watts,
Senior Fellow
The Heartland Institute


James Taylor:

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL (August 9, 2021) – The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its Sixth Assessment Report today, stating that it is now ‘code red for humanity,’ with temperatures expected to increase by 1.5C over the next 20 years regardless of what humans do to try to stop it.

The Heartland Institute is the leading global think tank promoting the work of scientists who say the data do not show human activity is causing a climate crisis. Heartland will be hosting many of those scientists and policy experts at the 14th International Conference on Climate Change Oct. 15-17 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

“The new IPCC report, in which the IPCC bureaucracy must strike an alarmist tone in order to justify and perpetuate the bureaucracy’s existence, adds virtually no substantive scientific evidence to the global warming debate. The objective data still show that global temperatures are rising much more slowly than the IPCC previously predicted, and that most extreme weather events and climatological factors are either not being impacted by modest warming or are becoming more benign rather than harmful.

“IPCC may be ramping up its rhetoric and fear-mongering, but this merely highlights the lack of any new scientific evidence to resuscitate the climate alarmism narrative.”

James Taylor
The Heartland Institute



Canadian Climate Expert says British Columbia Heat Wave Not Caused by Global Warming

by Cornwall Alliance

July 21, 2021

Guest author Isacc Teo

As the intense heat wave in the western provinces eases its grip, a former Environment Canada research scientist says that this weather event, while unusual, was caused by natural climate variability and is comparable to heat waves that occurred in the 1920s and 30s.

“This heat wave was exceptional, but it does not indicate any serious climate change issue,” Madhav Khandekar, an extreme weather expert, told The Epoch Times. “I think it is part of natural climate variability that we Canadians seem to forget.”

At the height of the heat wave, the village of Lytton in B.C. set a Canadian record of 49.6 degrees Celsius on June 29. On July 2, B.C.’s chief coroner Lisa Lapointe said 719 sudden and unexpected deaths have been reported over a seven-day period, noting that the severe weather was a significant contributing factor.

Seattle, Portland, and some other U.S. cities also broke heat records, with temperatures in some places reaching above 46 Celsius.

While some environmentalists and climate scientists claim that human-caused climate change is behind such extreme weather events, Khandekar doesn’t agree.

“Are these due to global warming or what’s called human CO2 emissions? The answer is no,” he said.

“For example, during the 1930s, often known as the ‘dust bowl’ years of North America, there were serious heat waves, and the highest temperature in Canada was recorded in a small town in Saskatchewan in July 1937: the temperature of 45 degrees [Celsius],” he said.

“In July 1936, for about 10 days, Toronto, where I live right now, recorded the highest temperature of 41 degrees Celsius without any humidity correction for three days in a row. That produced the deadliest heat wave in Canada, where over 1,100 people died, unfortunately, mostly because of dehydration and lack of air conditioning.”

He also said Canada and other parts of the world regularly experience extreme cold temperatures as well, such as in the winter of 2018 when an “extreme cold warning” was issued for most of New Brunswick. He questions why some seize on extreme high-temperature events as proof of global warming but ignore the extreme cold events, which he says are all part of natural climate variations.

Khandekar said that there is no direct relationship between CO2 emissions and change in climate, and that climate is mainly governed by solar variability.

“It is important to know that, soon after World War II, human CO2 emissions started to rise worldwide because of a lot of industrial activity after the war. Interestingly, there was a global cooling from about 1947 to almost about 1977–79 … of the global mean temperature by almost about one-quarter of a degree,” he said.

In a 2013 research paper titled “Are Extreme Weather Events on the Rise?” Khandekar presented his findings that the global mean temperature did indeed rise after 1977 until it reached its “maximum in 1998 and remained more or less stationary thereafter.” However, in 2002 it started to drop again.

“During January–February 2012, temperatures plunging locally in eastern and central Europe to -40 degrees celsius, [led]to several hundred deaths in Eastern Europe. The severity of winter 2002–03 was felt as far south as in Vietnam & Bangladesh, where several hundred people died of long exposure to cold weather,” the paper said, adding that significantly colder and snowier winters were also observed in North America in 2002–03, 2007–08, and 2009–10.

Many regions in South America also witnessed colder winters between 2008 and 2013, the paper noted. For example, some locations in Argentina recorded temperatures as low as -25 Celsius, with snow falling in Buenos Aires in July 2007—the first time the city had seen snow since 1918.

Khandekar said the mean temperature patterns over South America and Australia today are getting much colder than normal, with frost and snow occurring in southern Brazil.

Around June 28, countries such as Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, and Brazil were reported to be suffering “extreme and unprecedented cold weather outbreaks, with historic snowfall across some regions,” according to the online resource Severe Weather Europe. “A large region of the continent was experiencing temperatures over 15 °C colder than normal.”

In contrast to global warming, Khandekar believes the sun is going to enter the “solar grand minimum” in the near future, which means “we are heading for a colder climate in the next 10 to 20 years.”

He adds that it is important for Canadians to have access to global mean temperature data in order to understand the full picture of climate issues.

“If more Canadians see these mean temperature trends, then they will understand that climate change is very complex. CO2 concentration may increase, but that is not leading to warming, constant warming, of the Earth’s climate.”

This article was originally published on the Epoch Times.

Dr. Madhav Khandekar


  • Ph.D., Meteorology, Florida State University. 
  • M.Sc., Meteorology, Florida State University. 
  • M.Sc., Statistics, Pune University (India). 
  • B.Sc., Mathematics. 
  • B.Sc., Physics. 


Madhav Khandekar is a retired Environment Canada scientist

No restrictions on suckler cows acceptable

‘It is unacceptable that the problem of dairy expansion would lead to punishing suckler farmers, when the average suckler herd is less than twenty cows and suckler herds of more than 100 cows are almost unheard of’

Sligo News File

Ger O’Brien, Chairman,
ICSA Suckler Committee









ICSA suckler chair Ger O’Brien has said that ICSA would not agree to any restrictions on the number of suckler cows a farmer can keep. In response to the CAP consultation documents put forward by the Department, Mr O’Brien said that suckler farmers needed a much higher level of support in the next CAP, but this could not come at any cost.

“We see a substantial increase in the number of dairy herds growing into hundreds of cows. It is unacceptable that the problem of dairy expansion would lead to punishing suckler farmers, when the average suckler herd is less than twenty cows and suckler herds of more than 100 cows are almost unheard of.

“Suckler farms are not expanding by requiring nitrates derogations, or by building massive open air slurry lagoons. So it is just simply wrong to talk about forced stagnation in the suckler sector, when in fact the number of suckler cows has declined in the past few years.

“ICSA has repeatedly highlighted how suckler and sheep farmers are actually getting a lower level of support under Pillar 1 on a per hectare basis than dairy farmers. This is shown by the Teagasc National Farm Survey results of 2019 which showed the average dairy farmer got €280/ha whereas the average suckler farmer got €243/ha in terms of the basic payment and greening top-up. So, the need for better supports for farmers who are trying to make a living from suckler farming could not be clearer.

“However, this is a consultation document, and we expect that the final outcome will not lead to an absolute cap on suckler numbers.”

Nonetheless, in the last BDGP, payment levels were based on a fixed number of cows, linked to a reference year. That level is now out of date, but ICSA will also be insisting that suckler farmers are not disadvantaged as a result of trying to meet the 5% reduction requirement of the BEAM scheme, he added.

Lives Remembered…Myles Kilcawley

Myles Kilcawley, who recently passed away, was for years the popular head of postal services in Enniscrone and a leading figure in the business life of the West Sligo town.

Son of Kathleen (nee Fox) and the late Michael Kilcawley, Myles was a former student of St. Muredach’s College in Ballina. He returned to his home town after a career in Dublin and London, taking over as postmaster following the retirement of his father from the post.

Warmly remembered as one of life’s true gentleman, news of his untimely death evoked widespread sadness throughout the area where he was closely associated with many local sporting activities and developments.

He is sadly missed by his wife Julie, daughters Ellen and Rose, his mother Kathleen, brother Matthew Dublin, Grainne Mooney, Dublin, Joan Carty, Cross, Mayo, Johanna McGrath, Galway, in-laws, nieces, nephews and other relatives.

May he rest in peace.  Ar dheis De go Raibh a anam uasal.

Sligo Councillors give thumbs down to bridge naming honour for West Sligo War of Independence patriot

Teenaged hero shot by British forces in Ballina

Sligo News File

Thomas Howley

A young Co. Sligo hero who gave his life for Irish freedom will not be honoured as proposed by local figures in his native Enniscrone.

Thomas Howley was just 18 when he was shot and captured by Crown forces following an ambush at Bunree, Ballina. Taken under military escort, it is believed that he was tortured on the way to a medical facility in Athlone where he died of his injuries a few days later, on 26 May 1921.

Thousands turned out to pay their respects to the young patriot who was laid to rest with military honours at the old cemetery in Kilglass.

One hundred years on, however, Sligo councillors have refused to support a call for a bridge in the vicinity of the house in Enniscrone where the courageous teenage volunteer was born to be named in his honour. Not only that, but it seems nine members of the county council have also voted down a proposal to have the issue decided by a plebiscite – meaning a vote of the people of Enniscrone and district.

Councillor Joe Queenan, a shopkeeper in the West Sligo town reportedly stated at a meeting that Enniscrone was “a tourism town, we want to stay non-political,” a comment which it’s said led Cllr. Declan Bree to remark that he thought “it was a sad occasion that that would be a reason to vote down the naming of a bridge after a patriot.”

Howley was the only volunteer from the area between Castleconnor and Ballisodare killed in the War of Independence

It is noteworthy that while Sligo councillors have turned face against naming the bridge, known as the Bellawaddy in Enniscrone after Howley, the people of nearby Ballina – a major tourism venue – have on the other hand reflected their pride and respect for the teenaged hero by naming an entire street in the town in his honour. Indeed, virtually every street in the North Mayo capital and Ardnaree is named after patriots involved in the struggle for independence from British rule, an initiative that was taken following a suggestion of Tom Ruane a former O/C of the North Mayo Brigade and later a Ballina-based senator for nearly twenty- seven years – the move hasn’t in any way adversely impacted the tourism industry or popularity of the town among visitors.


RTE turns spotlight on how political Ireland cleared the way for abortion

Thousands of pre-born since put to death

Sligo News File

RTE will tonight broadcast a documentary showing how Irish society was influenced to vote for the introduction of abortion, a measure that has since resulted in the killing of thousands of unborn babies.

It’s reckoned that upwards of 8,000 innocents have been put down in the relatively short period since abortion was legalised in Ireland.

A strong body of members in Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, Sinn Fein, the Greens and a mass of other political activists and voluntary bodies mobilised to encourage the people to remove constitutional protection for babies before birth.

A sweeping level of funding is believed to have poured in from foreign interests, some determined to see Catholic Ireland turned into a hardened eradicator of unborn human life.

While broadcasting and other media have meanwhile being directing fire over alleged shortcomings of the Catholic Church, the destruction of Irish citizens in abortions continues with little attention to the tragedy

What does this say of the country’s values and regard for humankind in the womb?  

Tonight’s RTE programme rolls out after the news, at 9.30



Sligo Road Closures

Closures are necessary to facilitate arrangements for Fleadhfest 2021
Sligo News File

The Lungy will be closed from its junction with Temple Street to its junction with Church Street to all vehicular traffic on the following dates:

· Tomorrow, Thursday 29th July from 08:00 to 17:00

· Sunday 1st August and Monday 2nd August 2021

· Thursday 5th August through to Sunday 8th August 2021 (inclusive)

These closures are necessary to facilitate arrangements for Fleadhfest 2021.

Diversions for northbound traffic will be via Temple Street. Connolly Street, High Street, West Gardens and Church Street.

Diversions for southbound traffic will be via Church Street, Dominic Street and the Market Yard.The Lungy will be closed from its junction with Temple Street to its junction with Church Street to all vehicular traffic on the following dates:

· Tomorrow, Thursday 29th July from 08:00 to 17:00

· Sunday 1st August and Monday 2nd August 2021

· Thursday 5th August through to Sunday 8th August 2021 (inclusive)
The Lungy – Road Closure Thursday 29th July

The Lungy will be closed from its junction with Temple Street to its junction with Church Street to all vehicular traffic on the following dates:

· Tomorrow, Thursday 29th July from 08:00 to 17:00

· Sunday 1st August and Monday 2nd August 2021

· Thursday 5th August through to Sunday 8th August 2021 (inclusive)

These closures are necessary to facilitate arrangements for Fleadhfest 2021.

Diversions for northbound traffic will be via Temple Street. Connolly Street, High Street, West Gardens and Church Street.

Diversions for southbound traffic will be via Church Street, Dominic Street and the Market Yard.

These closures are necessary to facilitate arrangements for Fleadhfest 2021.

Diversions for northbound traffic will be via Temple Street. Connolly Street, High Street, West Gardens and Church Street.

Diversions for southbound traffic will be via Church Street, Dominic Street and the Market Yard.

Abortion- Archbishop responds to US House Speaker Pelosi

‘No one can claim to be devout Catholic and condone killing of innoicent life’

An archbishop has reportedly responded following an apparent observation by US Speaker of the House of representatives Nancy Pelosi that she is a devout Catholic who supports abortion.

Epoch Times quotes San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone as saying: “Let me repeat: no one can claim to be a devout Catholic and condone the killing of innocent human life, let alone have the government pay for it. The right to life is a fundamental—the most fundamental—human right, and Catholics do not oppose fundamental human rights.”

Cordileone, archbishop of Pelosi’s home diocese, is also quoted in other media as saying: “Our land is soaked with the blood of the innocent, and it must stop.”



‘Existing mechanisms are not delivering fairness for beef farmers’

Sligo News File

Edmund Graham, chairman ICSA Beef Committee

ICSA Beef chair Edmund Graham has said the Beef Taskforce must be wound down and the priority now must be the establishment of a strong beef regulator. “Over the course of the Beef Taskforce it became abundantly clear to ICSA that the position of the primary producer was not being strengthened in any significant way. Existing mechanisms are not delivering fairness for beef farmers, and the only way to level the playing field is with a regulator who is equipped with all the necessary powers and resources,” he said.

“We have seen that Grant Thornton were unable to deliver transparency around the price composition of the total value of an animal – including the fifth quarter – along the supply chain. Indeed, it proved to be an impossible task as they simply could not get their hands on the required data. Neither processor nor retailer were compelled to co-operate, and therein lies the difficulty. They must not be allowed to shirk their responsibly towards their suppliers any longer.

“Competition laws have also proven to be of little value. It has become evident with our discussions with the CCPC that a finer instrument than competition law is required when it comes to the beef sector. That instrument must be a regulator – who is knowledgeable about the sector, properly resourced and armed with clear investigative powers. They must have the ability to forensically audit the books, and all of this must be backed by robust legislation.

“It has never been more apparent that such legislation is both necessary and urgent. The duty is now upon Minister McConalogue to ensure such legislation can in fact establish transparency in the beef sector once and for all, in a way that the Taskforce and Grant Thornton could not.

“While we believe the Beef Taskforce has now reached the end of its natural life, it must not mark the end of dialogue, particularly when it comes to implementing outstanding agreements – most notably the installation of weigh bridges to facilitate live weights at factories. ICSA is proposing a mechanism whereby the minister chairs discussions between the farming organisations and the factory bosses on a regular basis with a view to delivering consistent fair play for farmers and a better future for beef farmers.”

Israeli Prime Minister warning Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine ‘significantly less effective’ against Delta variant – report

Worrying upward spiral of Covid-19 cases in Ireland

Sligo News File  

Epoch Times is reporting Israel’s top officials as warning that the Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine is ‘significently less’ effective at combating the ‘Delta variant’ of the CCP virus.

The news service quotes Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett as saying: “We do not know exactly to what degree the vaccine helps, but it is significantly less.”

It states that for months Israel has relied heavily on administering Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, which uses mRNA technology, and that according to officials, more than 5.7 million Israelis have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Meanwhile, cases of the virus are on an alarmingly upward spiral in Ireland where the Department of Health has confirmed that there have been 1,179 new cases over the past day.

More than ninety people are hospitalised with the disease, with twenty-two in ICU.

Despite the growing threat, the government has approved the easing of restrictions across hospitality and travel sectors. Thousands are flocking to beaches throughout the State.

There are fears cases of the virus could rocket to thousands of outbreaks daily.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said at the weekend that the Government was very concerned about the transmissibility of the Delta variant and is also said to have predicted a high volume of cases.


Call for new law to stamp out dog attacks on livestock

Current legislation in Scotland provides for tens of thousands of pounds in fines

 Sligo News File

Sean McNamara, Chairman, ICSA Sheep Sector Committee

ICSA sheep chair Sean McNamara has called for tougher livestock protection legislation to be introduced to combat the on-going scourge of dog attacks. “New legislation in Scotland provides for fines of up to stg£40,000. It also provides additional powers to investigate and enforce the offence of livestock worrying, which is precisely what is now needed in this country,” he said.

“This week I witnessed the aftermath of a particularly distressing incident involving cattle who fled into a bog to escape from a number of marauding dogs. These cattle became trapped in the bog water and despite the best efforts of everyone involved, not all of them could be saved. The whole episode has had a devastating impact on the farmer concerned, and all because the dog owners involved were too complacent about where their dogs were and what they were doing.

“We see year after year the problem is not going away. Campaigns aimed at raising the awareness of the need to control dogs around livestock are proving woefully inadequate. We also have a range of slap on the wrist type penalties which certainly do not act as any deterrent. It is time for our legislators to get tougher on this issue and set about legislating for the sort of fines that are commensurate with the amount of needless damage being done.”