‘Ignore low factory quotes’

Sligo News File

ICSA sheep chairman Sean McNamara has urged farmers to ignore low factory quotes for lambs. “Factories have been trying to talk down lamb price over the past few days, but farmers need to know that €6.30/kg is readily available this morning (Monday, 13 September). 

“Farmers have no reason to accept any less. Farmers also have the option of the mart and this is the best option for lambs that are a bit heavy. Factories are still imposing a weight limit of 21.5kg which is surprising given that the weight limit is normally 22kg from the start of September. Lambs above this will do better in marts.

“Every so often this year factories have overdone price cuts, but they have generally had to row back because lambs are scarce, and demand is good. Farmers need to push for more than the basic quotes.”

Mr McNamara went on to point out that the importation of lambs, both live and dead, is a sure sign that factories cannot keep up with the demand. “I want reassurances from the Department that all imported product is fully monitored and that none of it is being sold as Irish quality assured lamb. It is vital that we have full transparency and a robust inspection process in place.”

Minister urged to prioritise low-income cattle and sheep farmers in next CAP

‘The priority for Minister McConalogue must be to bring CAP payments back home to the active but low-income farmers in the beef, suckler, sheep and tillage sectors – which is where direct payments were originally concentrated’

Sligo News File

Pictured L-R: Minister of State Pippa Hackett, ICSA Rural Development chairman Tim Farrell, Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConologue, ICSA president Dermot Kelleher, Minister of State Martin Heydon and ICSA general secretary Eddie Punch

ICSA president Dermot Kelleher has urged Minister McConalogue to do more for low-income cattle, sheep, and tillage farmers as the next CAP is designed.

“ICSA today presented the Minister with a comprehensive and fully costed plan that would ensure CAP payments are directed to those farmers that need them most, and which also crucially meets all the EU Green Deal objectives.”

Speaking following this afternoon’s (in person) meeting with Minister McConalogue and Ministers of State Pippa Hackett and Martin Heydon Mr Kelleher said, “The priority for Minister McConalogue must be to bring CAP payments back home to the active but low-income farmers in the beef, suckler, sheep and tillage sectors – which is where direct payments were originally concentrated. This is achievable through maximising the use of every possible avenue within the CAP framework.

“ICSA pressed the Minister to avail of the full 13% coupled payment option to deliver variable, coupled premiums, that would deliver an extra payment on suckler cows and ewes. On current cow numbers it would add €120/cow for the first 40 cows, and we believe that the BDGP and BEEP payment value can also be increased to deliver an overall total of €300 on the first 40 cows, and €180 thereafter. This eliminates the need for quotas or capping of the suckler herd.

“Similarly, the coupled option could also deliver €16/ewe on the first 250 ewes, and we are seeking a total payment of €35/ewe on the first 250 ewes (adding in the Sheep Welfare Scheme) and €19/ewe thereafter, again with no quotas or capping.”

These variable coupled payments – front-loaded on the first 40 cows and the first 250 ewes – eliminates the need for the CRISS component to be applied when it comes to Ireland. “CRISS is a very inefficient way of targeting supports to those in the lower income sectors that need them most. We believe that ICSA’s proposed targeted variable coupled payments offer a far more precise option to meet the EU’s redistribution requirement.

“For beef finishers ICSA is seeking a beef carbon efficiency payment worth up to €100/head for feeding animals between 12-24 months, up to 150 head. This scheme would be aimed at farmers who undertake a programme designed to deliver more efficient, earlier slaughter of steers, heifers, and bulls, and will involve weighing, dung samples and a target to finish cattle at under 28 months for steers, under 26 months for heifers and under 22 months for young bulls, with higher payments the younger they are finished.”

Other key components of ICSA’s CAP plan are two schemes that would work in tandem – one that gives young farmers a top-up to expand their enterprises, and one which allows older suckler farmers to move away from breeding but not from farming altogether. “Supporting young farmers and facilitating intergenerational transfer must go hand in hand.”

To this end ICSA has proposed a 25% young farmer top-up for suckler cows to a maximum 40 cows (about €30 + €120), for up to five years under the variable suckler cow payment; a 25% top-up for ewes to a maximum 250 ewes (about €4 + €16 for up to five years); a 25% top-up per hectare for up to five years and access to TAMS grants at a rate of 60%. In tandem with this must be an early retirement scheme for suckler farmers aged 55 and over amounting to €100/cow for 5 years to facilitate those young farmers who wish to expand their suckler herds.

“ICSA has also made it very clear to the Minister and his officials that membership of a Bord Bia Quality Assurance Scheme must not be linked to CAP payments. We are also clear that payments under Pillar 1 should be capped at €66,000, with no loopholes for employed staff.”

Mr Kelleher acknowledged that while the Minister has a complex task in dealing with all the relevant stakeholders, he is optimistic that the ICSA view will be taken on board. “ICSA’s CAP proposals provide the best framework upon which to build the next CAP for Irish farming families, and we are encouraged that these proposals have been well received by the Minister and his senior Department officials.”

Mayo Fianna Fail TD pledges support for Coveney in imminent Sinn Fein no confidence motion

Fianna Fail TD’s who fail to support minister face suspension – claim

Sligo News File

Coveney, it seems will have at least one supporter when a Sinn Fein table motion of no confidence in him comes to be debated in the Dail next week.

Reports indicate that short time Agriculture Minister Dara Calleary has indicated his backing for the minister.

The Taoiseach, it’s reported has warned that Fianna Fail TD’s who refuse or fail to endorse Coveney in the motion of confidence expected to be tabled next week will face suspension.

Coveney is facing opposition calls to step down following the controversy surrounding the appointment of a former government minister to a United Nations role.

Meanwhile, today’s Irish Independent has quoted former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern as saying: Fianna Fáil is in a very bad state. Morale is very low and there doesn’t seem to be a plan.”


Labour Leader ‘profoundly taken aback’ by number of derelict properties in Sligo


Sligo News File

Visiting Sligo yesterday, Labour Party leader Alan Kelly told Ocean FM that he was “profoundly taken aback by the amount of derelict buildings and houses and shop fronts around the place.

“That’s certainly alarming…” he said

Child care also “was a big issue.” He also referenced capacity issue at Sligo University Hospital.

Kelly, remembered as the government minister for the Environment who unsuccessfully fought for the retention of domestic water charges, was in Sligo to meet party members.

Labour doesn’t have either a TD or councillor in Sligo or the constituency.

According to GeoView Commercial Vacancy Rate, the commercial vacancy rate in Sligo last June was 20%, the highest in the country.

Covid has wiped out thousands in Ireland

Sligo hospital fighting to deal with the virus

Sligo News File

More than 5,000 have already been killed by Covid in Ireland. Case numbers are in the thousands with places such as Sligo General reportedly currently battling the disease in multiple wards.

However, it hasn’t deterred the government from lifting restrictions earlier introduced to control the spread of the epidemic. With virtually open season for hotels, restaurants, sports events and tourism, the future now looks to be about survival of the fittest – the economy, it appears, must come first.

Worldwide, case numbers of the virus and variants stand at almost 224 million. Deaths are up on 5 million.

In testing of children in Ireland, more than 1600 primary and secondary schools have reported positive cases since reopening.

Death of former Sligo Council chairman

Member of local authority for more than 30 years

Sligo News File

Promoting Sligo Tourism:
Late Paddy Conway (right) Former Minister John Perry and, back, Ned Kilcullen

Enniscrone native Paddy Conway has sadly passed away. He was 91.

A councillor for more than 32 years from 1967 to 1999 during which he also was chairman of the local authority for a term, he served as well on a number of bodies, including Bord Failte.

A strongly committed and hard working public representative, many held that the affable Fianna Fail figure should have been nominated for membership of the Senate.

Paddy, a true gentleman and Pioneer and non smoker all his life, enriched the life of the community he represented, and remained a warm and ever approachable ambassador for Enniscrone long after stepping down from the local authority

A passionate GAA man, his love of sports also extended to rugby and golf – the latter encouraged by the proximity of his home to the famed Enniscrone Golf Course beside the beach and Killala Bay

Hundreds of tributes flowed in following the announcement of his death at his home at Bartra Enniscrone.

Paddy is survived by his loving wife Breege (nee Reape) daughters Sinead Clancy (Galway) Michelle (Strandhill) Marina, (Enniscrone) Kathleen (Enniscrone) Paula (USA) Aoife (Enniscrone) sons-in-law Ken, Dave, Padraic & Paula’s partner Jason, grandchildren Rian, Ava, Holly, Jack and Emily, brother Fr. Michael and extended Conway and Reape families

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a h-anam dílis


Worm boosted meat on the way

EU authorises farmers to feed bugs to chickens and pigs

Sligo News File

Fancy a helping of worm-fed meat on your plate? Like it or not, it looks from reports that it’s what the EU apparently wants consumers to chew on as a more sustainable source of protein.

According to news accounts, the EU is authorizing farmers to now feed bugs to their chickens and pigs, a move said to come into effect from this week.

The EU’s food safety watchdog appears to have already ruled that insects are safe for consumption – this includes locusts, crickets, and mealworms.

However, feeding bugs to poultry and livestock rather than directly humans has shown, it’s said, the greatest commercial potential with the market for insects estimated to reach 500,000 tonnes within the next few years.

Insect-based food has long been seen as a part of the solution to cutting the emission of greenhouse gases in food production.

The British Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs announced a ban on the feeding of mealworms to chickens in 2014. Mealworms are imported and may have come into contact with, or been fed, animal protein which could then potentially pass on disease.


‘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.