‘Compulsory LESS slurry spreading for a large proportion of active livestock farmers by 2025’

Sligo News File 

ICSA Rural Development chairman Tim Farrell has said that the draft Nitrates Action Programme, published Tuesday 14 December adds extra cost, red tape and restrictions and it is particularly unfair for less intensive farmers who do not benefit from higher stocking rates.

“The programme envisages compulsory LESS slurry spreading for a large proportion of active livestock farmers by 2025 (i.e., those stocked above 100kg organic nitrogen/ha). This is a very low stocking rate to have to carry the cost of compulsory LESS spreading. It is also impractical particularly for farmers with conventional slurry spreaders who spread their own slurry from smaller slatted sheds, and where the cost of large contractor machines even for a few loads of slurry will be prohibitive.

“ICSA is also opposed to a further limitation on the spreading period for slurry. We have seen many times that slurry is spread effectively in October where weather permits. This is especially true where August and September turn out to be very wet months. In short, farmers are frustrated at calendar farming rules which have been shown, time and time again, to be a poor substitute for good farming practices which allow for variable weather patterns.”

ICSA is also concerned at the proposal to vary the organic nitrogen attributed to cows based on yield. “It strikes us totally unworkable in practice, and probably unenforceable in the case of farms which are close to the limits for a particular yield. However, from a bigger picture point of view, it is a clear incentive to farmers to move towards lower milk yield (but higher solids) Jersey and Kiwi cross cows. We must have a more holistic view of policy. Encouraging more Jersey cross will be extremely damaging to our beef sector, and it should not be encapsulated in any regulations.

“ICSA is warning the Government to think long and hard before further damaging the beef sector by further undermining the beef merit of calves born in the dairy herd.”

Mass killing of unborn innocents

Dail hears thousands put to death under Ireland’s abortion laws

Sligo News File


Deputy Peader Toibin, TD

 Deputy Peader Toibin told the Dail this week that in the first two years of abortion in Ireland, 13,243 babies had their lives ended by the State abortion services.

He said: “By the end of this month, 20,000 individual living, human beings will have their lives ended by the State. That is an incredible situation on the basis of legislation passed by the Minister of State’s party (Fine Gael) the Labour Party, Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin and People before Profit.

“That is 127 babies a week that are losing their lives in this State because of this particular law.

“It is equivalent to the total to 850 classrooms of children who will never make it to school, who will never get to live and grow up, like the Members who were sitting here a number of minutes ago.

“In the North of Ireland the Sinn Féin MLAs voted against children with disabilities being able to make it to full term. They voted for abortion right up until birth for a child with disabilities.

“When it comes to this law, these same political parties will argue that the State imposes in legislation rights for animals. Indeed we have those rights for animals in law in this State. It states ‘A person shall not … perform an operation or procedure … involving interference with the sensitive tissue or bone structure of an animal … without the use of an appropriate anaesthetic’.

“Yet, the same right is not being afforded to individual living human beings during late-term abortions in this State.

“There is a cruelty. There is a lack of compassion. There is a lack of sympathy in the ideology that forces these political parties to ignore completely the humanity of these living individual human beings.”

Deputy  Tóibín was speaking during a Dail debate on the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) (Foetal Pain Relief) Bill 2021.



Young People Represent Group Most Opposed To Euthanasia

Press Release issued by Students for Life Ireland 1 October 2020

Students for Life Ireland have today confirmed their opposition to the euthanasia Bill currently before the Dáil. Spokesperson for the group, Clara Terren Hogan, a Medical Student in NUI Galway, said: “An Amarach Research Opinion poll commissioned by RTE’s Claire Byrne Show last year revealed that those aged between 18 and 24 years are the group most opposed to legalised euthanasia, with only 48% indicating they are in favour of assisted suicide. On the other hand euthanasia is supported by 60% of 25 to 34 year-olds. I wonder if this is because younger people are more likely to have a living grandparent and if this variable influences their views on euthanasia?”

Ms Hogan continued: “There is widespread opposition to this bill from those in the medical profession, with both the Association for Palliative Medicine of Great Britain and Ireland and the Irish Palliative Medicine Consultants Association coming out against the Bill. The reason we are opposing this bill is because we’ve listened to and read all the evidence – it is well documented that in countries where euthanasia is legalised the vulnerable, the elderly and people who have disabilities can feel immense pressure to end their own lives – feelings that they are a burden on society and their families. Shockingly in California where assisted suicide is legal, health insurance companies will cover the costs associated with euthanasia but not the cost of chemotherapy”.

“Legalising euthanasia, especially in light of the scandalous situation in nursing homes at the start of the pandemic, would be a hugely regressive move. We should be promoting a message of inclusivity, compassion and equality – working to create an Ireland where everyone feels welcome and where nobody is left feeling as though they are a burden on society. As a medical student, I want to save lives, to protect lives and care for people with love and compassion when they are at their most vulnerable. If euthanasia was legalised, people like me would be expected to end the lives of our patients. Students for Life Ireland wish to encourage everyone to contact their local TDs and encourage them to oppose the Bill at the debate this evening”, concluded Ms Terren Hogan.

The Bill, introduced by People Before Profit TD Gino Kenny in October 2020 has since been rejected at the pre-Committee Stage by the Oireachtas’ Committee on Justice who ruled that it will not be proceeding further.



‘Threats to decapitate Catholics in the name of the Quran’

A recent terrorist incident in Nanterre, France has shaken the Catholic world.

The violent Islamist attack on a Marian Procession has barely made a dent in the secular media however, with mainstream European news outlets refusing to carry the story of torches being swiped from faithful, a priest being spat on by Islamists and threats to decapitate Catholics in the name of the Quran.

Now, images have emerged of Mass in the town being supervised by police as the threats were eerily similar to events in recent years in Normandy and Nice, where a priest and parishioners had their heads severed from their bodies during Mass.

-report courtesy of Catholic Arena.

For more click

Traffic delays on N15 at Drumcliffe

Contractor working on behalf of HSE

Sligo News File

A Contractor working on behalf of the HSE will be carrying out roadworks on the traffic calming Island and road re-alignment works on N15 National Primary Road at Drumcliffe North.  The works say Sligo County Council will be taking place from Tuesday 14th December to Thursday 16th  December inclusive.   Traffic lights and a stop go system will be in place and traffic reduced to a single lane.   Delays are to be expected.

Scale of Covid infections sparking increasing concern

Thousands more cases reported

Sligo News File

New infections of Covid are alarming medical experts. Health authorities have reported some 4,667 cases of the disease in the last 24 hours.

With more than 500 people hospitalised, 110 of them in intensive care, Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan is said to be very concerned about the ongoing volume of outbreaks.

Despite the opposition to restrictions, the indications are that further government curtailment of activities is likely to follow in the period ahead.

In the UK, the government has raised the Covid alert to level four owing to the high transmission rate of the Omicron variant of the disease and the growing pressure on its health service. 

Cases of the Omicron variant have been confirmed in Ireland.


High-speed broadband not speeding to town in Mayo

‘Several years before a connection becomes available to international exporter’

Sligo News File

To help Minister for Enterprise Robert Troy understand problems being experienced by business in Mayo , Ballina-based Fianna Fail TD Dara Calleary said he would “try to give him a sense of real broadband issues.”

He went on to explain to Troy that a leading domestic and international exporting company operating out of a small town for nearly 90 years cannot get access to proper broadband to allow it to e-tail the company and provide a better service to its customers, both retail and wholesale.

As well, the town “will not be included in the national broadband plan for several years. Those are the day-to-day challenges facing enterprises in our regions,” said Calleary in the course of a Dail debate.

Minister reveals the millions of euros allocated to the IDA

‘The agency provides a wide range of financial assistance to companies’

Sligo News File

Questioned by Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh about the scale of funding provided to the IDA, Minister of State for Enterprise Robert Troy said the agency was allocated €124.6m Exchequer funding in 2011, in 2012 it was allocated €121.8m and in 2013 €124.5m. This, he continued, rose in 2014 to €130.6m and €135.3m in 2015. In 2016 the IDA was allocated €163.7m, rising to €179.3m in 2017 and €180.8 in 2018. In 2019 the IDA was funded in the amount of €214.5m and €189.2m in 2020.

Troy said the IDA “offers a wide range of financial assistance to companies wishing to locate and / or expand their existing operation in Ireland including and not restricted to; capital grants, employment grants, training grants and research and development and environmental supports.”

Grant payments are only one measure of performance, it also “supports client companies through a range of offerings.”

In addition to supporting potential investors through financial supports, the IDA “facilitates site visits, introductions and assists companies with property solutions,” he added




‘We need the deadline to be extended so that these glitches can be ironed out’

Sligo News File

ICSA rural development chairman Tim Farrell has called on the Department of Agriculture to extend today’s deadline for GLAS 1, 2 and 3 participants to roll over their contracts into next year. “Participants were called upon to respond via text message indicating if they wished to carry on with the scheme. However, ICSA understands that some text responses are not getting through to the Department if they are sent using some of the smaller mobile networks. We need the deadline to be extended so that these glitches can be ironed out,” he said.

“The difficulty has only come to light because some participants who have replied to the Department’s text – and presumed those texts were delivered – have subsequently been advised that no communication from them has been received.

“Only when participants receive a text reply from the Department stating, DAFM: We have received your reply can you be sure the text has gone through.”

 Mr Farrell said it is difficult to know how many farmers have been affected by this, but that no one should miss out on continuing with GLAS through no fault of their own. “This is a new way of communicating with the Department for many and some flexibility will need to be shown.”

TB in cattle herds increased

‘Disease causing untold hardship for farming families’

Sligo News File

Charlie McConalogue, TD Minister for Agriculture.

The incidence of bovine TB has risen every year between 2016 and 2020, Agriculture Minister Charlie McConalogue has stated in reply to a parliamentary question on the issue.

He said the number of dairy herd reactor animals is “8,837 for the year 2019, 12,440 for the year 2020 and 11,502 up to 6th December for the year 2021.

“The number of Suckler herd reactor animals is 5,894 for the year 2019, 7,275 for the year 2020 and 5,816 up to 6th December for the year 2021.

“The number of Beef herd reactor animals is 1,989 for the year 2019, 2,332 for the year 2020 and 1,829 up to 6th December for the year 2021.

“The number of other herd reactor animals is 347 for the year 2019, 515 for the year 2020 and 471 up to 6th December for the year 2021.

“The overall total in respect of reactor numbers is 17,067 for the year 2019, 22,562 for the year 2020 and 19,618 up to 6th December for the year 2021.”

Adding that herd incidence has risen every year between 2016 and 2020, he said “the disease causes untold hardship for farmers and farming families, and although the challenge is serious my Department, working together with stakeholders and engaging with farmers are committed to eradicating this disease.

“Earlier this year, I launched a new Bovine TB Eradication Strategy 2021-2030. The implementation of this strategy is overseen by the TB Stakeholder Forum with support from three new working groups on science, implementation and finance to ensure that all aspects of the Strategy are addressed.

Thirty years on, Ballina still awaiting IDA action on town industrial park

Planning permission allowed to lapse

Sligo News File

Dara Calleary, TD, Ballina

The long-awaited industrial park for Ballina is back in the news, with town-based Fianna Fail TD, Dara Calleary again questioning the status of the proposed development.

Back in June this year, Calleary, stating that he was “a huge fan of IDA Ireland,” told the Dail that the Ballina project had been underway for 30 years “and we are really no further on.”

He also complained that the planning permission granted for the IDA 10.6-hectare site on the Sligo Road had even been allowed to lapse.

At the time, Minister of State Robert Troy, Fianna Fail, stated that the agency “has appointed an engineering firm to undertake detailed technical due diligence, review the master plan design and submit a stage one infrastructure planning application to Mayo County Council,” which it anticipated “will be ready for submission in the third quarter of 2021, subject to ongoing review.”

Robert Troy, TD, Minister for Enterprise

But this week, Troy, responding to another query from Calleary, said in a written statement that a number of external factors delayed the submission of a planning application for the site in the third quarter as originally intended, “namely Covid-19 restrictions for geotechnical site surveys and data analyses required to finalise the application details.”

He added that the IDA is now awaiting “final confirmation of feasibility in relation to infrastructure and utilities to include in the planning application and it will lodge the planning application on receipt of same.”




Donegal councillors seek more for Mica hit householders

Unhappiness over government package

Sligo News File  

Not what is expected: Donegal councillors have given thumbs down to the government’s Mica Redress Scheme offer.

The county council has now resolved to contact housing minister Daragh O’Brien to get back with a better deal.

Chairman Jack Murray suspended standing orders to allow for the issue to be thoroughly discussed by members at the December meeting of the authority.

Members reflected unhappiness with the government offer, which they considered would leave affected homeowners shouldering a substantial financial outlay to rebuild or repair their houses.

Successful applications for Town and Village Scheme funding to be announced shortly

More than 160 projects approved under the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund

Sligo News File

Heather Humphreys, Minister for Rural and Community Development

Questioned about the Town and Village Renewal Scheme, Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphreys said that her Department received 167 applications in 2021. The applications, she went on, “are currently undergoing a formal assessment process, and I expect to announce the successful applications shortly.”

Referring to the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund, which provides funding for the development and construction of capital projects in towns and villages and rural areas across Ireland, she said that “to date, 164 projects have been approved for funding of €255m for projects costing over €347m.

The third call for Category 2 applications closed on the 30th of July 2021. Category 2 provides smaller grant funding to enable the development of project proposals suitable for future calls under for Category 1 applications. Her Department received 53 applications to this call. Applications, she said, “are currently being assessed by my Department under the oversight of the Project Advisory Board, which is comprised of representatives from key Government Departments and independent experts. Once that process is complete, my Department will prepare a report setting out recommended projects, and my role as Minister will be to consider that report and make final decisions in relation to the allocation of funding. I expect to announce the successful projects in the coming weeks.

“I will be announcing the fourth call for Category 1 projects before the end of 2021.” Category 1, she added, “relates to large scale ambitious capital projects with all necessary planning and other consents in place and which are ready to proceed.”


Renewables – Fossil Fuels = Energy Poverty: European Edition

‘European electricity grid increasingly delinked from affordable fossil fuels and hooked up to more expensive and intermittent wind and solar projects’

 ‘Expect to see many more Europeans and those in United Kingdom plunged into what’s known as ‘energy poverty’’

“With the recent rise in the price of natural gas in Europe to five times where it was in early 2021, expect to see many more Europeans and those in United Kingdom plunged into what’s known as “energy poverty.”

 “From Greece to Great Britain and everywhere in between, the European electricity grid has increasingly been delinked from reliable affordable fossil fuels and hooked up to more expensive and intermittent wind and solar projects.”

 ….”Canadians — and indeed everyone else around the world — should pay attention. That’s because what Europeans are enduring and will suffer through again this winter will intensify thanks to what governments worldwide are pushing at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP 26) at Glasgow, Scotland: An even faster assumed “phaseout” of fossil fuels.”

This article was first published on the Wattsupwiththat website. Click on the website to read more, including a chart showing high electricity prices for Irish households.