RURAL DWELLERS URGED TO BE MINDFUL OF ALL IN THEIR COMMUNITY THIS FESTIVE SEASON

22 DECEMBER 2016

ICSA rural development chairman Seamus Sherlock has said he would like to remind all those living in rural communities to keep an eye out for one another over the festive season. “We all lead busy lives and none more so than farmers but it’s important to keep our older and more vulnerable citizens in mind over the coming weeks. This will be all the more pertinent given the bad weather forecast for the weekend which may add to the difficulties for many.”

Continuing Mr Sherlock said “A quick call may be all that is needed to make a big difference in the life of someone who feels lonely or isolated at this time of year. It is important that these people are reassured and reminded they are still a much valued and respected part of their communities. Farmers are renowned for lending a helping hand to others when in need so let’s all work to keep that tradition alive.

Finally, I would like to wish all our members and all those living and farming in rural Ireland a very Happy Christmas and a safe and successful New Year.”

ENDS

MINISTER MUST ACCEPT ALL ELIGIBLE FARMERS INTO GLAS III TO PROTECT VITAL INCOME SOURCE

16 DECEMBER 2016

ICSA rural development chairman Seamus Sherlock has said he hopes Minister Creed will allow all eligible farmers who have applied to the third tranche of GLAS to participate in the scheme. Speaking following the deadline for applications had expired Mr Sherlock said “GLAS has proven to be a hugely popular scheme and the signals are that it has been once again oversubscribed by a significant number.”

Continuing Mr Sherlock said “The scheme is vital for farmers and with farming incomes so low across all sectors, this payment is a much needed boost to assist farmers with their cash flow. I would urge Minister Creed to make every effort not to deny eligible farmers from this much needed income source as it can make a real difference in the lives of farming families.”

ENDS

ICSA CALLS FOR A HALT IN CYNICAL EFFORTS TO KEEP LAMB PRICES DOWN

14 DECEMBER 2016

ICSA sheep chairman John Brooks has said it is time for meat factories to stop using scare tactics in an effort to drive down the price of lamb. “This time last year farmers were achieving €5.10/kg with prices rising, now we are seeing quotes as low as €4.55/kg but in reality deals are being done at €4.75/kg.”

Mr Brooks said that the fall in sterling is still being cynically used to manipulate the market in order for the factories to profiteer. “The currency issue has now stabilised, but this is being ignored by factories who are continuing to use sterling as well as gloomy prospects for the sheep trade in 2017 as an excuse not to adequately compensate farmers for their produce. This is despite no discernible increase in numbers this year as opposed to last year.”

Continuing Mr Brooks said “With New Zealand lamb extremely scarce in UK supermarkets, there is a real opportunity for Irish lamb to have a free run across Europe. The mart trade for slaughter fit lambs is also strong, so bleak soundings from the factories are completely uncalled for. There is no reason for sheep farmers not to be achieving a price equivalent to last year right up to the end of the hogget season.”

ENDS

ICSA MEETS WITH IRISH WATER AND ERVIA OVER PIPELINE CONCERNS

13 DECEMBER 2016

An ICSA delegation led by national president Patrick Kent has met with senior representatives from Irish Water and Ervia to highlight the issues affecting farmers along the proposed new water pipeline from the river Shannon to Dublin. Ervia are the company responsible for the project infrastructure development.

Speaking following the meeting Mr Kent said “ICSA has concerns over the justification of the pipeline at all given that it is apparent those living in Dublin either can’t pay, won’t pay or don’t pay for water, yet farmers are expected to have their business disrupted and their lands devalued to facilitate this.”

Also speaking after the meeting, ICSA rural development chairman Seamus Sherlock said “This is commercial farmland we’re talking about and farmers along the route are very worried about having their livelihoods interrupted. They are also concerned about the many possible ramifications of having the pipeline cross their lands far into the future.”

ICSA will continue to engage with Irish Water and Ervia to ensure that all concerns are addressed and that each farmer affected by the pipeline is treated fairly.

ENDS

RURAL DWELLERS SHOULD NOT HAVE TO PAY TWICE FOR WATER – ICSA

12 DECEMBER 2016

ICSA rural development chairman Seamus Sherlock has said it is unconscionable that rural dwellers should be expected to pay twice for their water while others pay nothing. “It is apparent at this point that no government will directly charge people for water in Dublin, and this raises serious questions about fairness. People in rural Ireland already pay for their water through private pumps, group schemes or local authority charges. With the latest backing down on water charges by the government they are still are expected to contribute to paying towards Dublin’s water supply through taxation.”

“Such an inequitable situation cannot be tolerated and I am calling on the government to allocate tax credits to compensate those in rural Ireland who are already paying for their water. The issue of water charges has been extremely contentious up to this point, so the last thing we need to see is yet another level of unfairness introduced.”

ENDS

ICSA MEETS WITH CENTRAL BANK TO DISCUSS LOAN SELL-OFFS

6 DECEMBER 2016

A senior delegation from ICSA, including national president Patrick Kent, general secretary Eddie Punch, rural development chairman Seamus Sherlock and Malcolm Thompson has held talks with high ranking officials from the Central Bank. The meeting which took place yesterday, 5 December, had been arranged to discuss issues arising from the sell-off of loans by key banks to private equity firms.

ICSA president Patrick Kent described the meeting as a positive one during which the concerns of the associations’ members were raised. Speaking following the meeting Mr Kent said “The legality and future conduct of equity funds was discussed in detail and we were reassured that farmers whose loans have been sold on are still entitled to fair treatment.”

ICSA rural development chairman Seamus Sherlock said “ICSA has concerns that the recent move by Ulster Bank to sell off loans to private equity firms will start a trend and be replicated by other key banks. Farmers have supported financial institutions for decades through good times and bad so we would be very disappointed if our banks are now considering abandoning some of their most loyal customers due to the downturn in farming profitability.”

ICSA general secretary Eddie Punch said “ICSA also had the opportunity to raise the question of facilitating banking transactions between Ireland and Iran due to the potential for exports of beef and sheepmeat there.” Mr Punch said ICSA will continue to engage with the Central Bank on this, and all matters discussed during the meeting.

ENDS

ICSA TO HOST ON-FARM SHEEP DEMONSTRATION IN WICKLOW

6 DECEMBER 2016

ICSA is hosting an on-farm sheep demonstration on the farm of Mervyn Sunderland, Redcross, Co. Wicklow tomorrow, 7 Ddecember at 2pm.

The demonstration will focus on the benefit & utilisation of Catch Crop/Green Cover including fattening store lambs.

Speakers at the event include:

Dr. Mary McEvoy of Germinal who will discuss the benefits for sheep to graze on catch crop / green cover.


Mr. Simon Byrne, Agricultural Consultant, to discuss GLAS & the growth of catch crops / green cover.


Dermot O’Sullivan – ICM Camolin: To discuss current market conditions & prospects.


Mr. Rory Phelan, Agronomist, will be available to answer queries on crops. 

For additional information, please contact ICSA on 057 8662120

All welcome.
This event is kindly supported by Quinn’s of Baltinglass.

ENDS

ICSA CALLS FOR IRISH EMBASSY IN IRAN TO REOPEN

1 DECEMBER 2016

ICSA president Patrick Kent is calling on the Irish government to reopen its Embassy in Tehran. Following a meeting today in Dublin with the Iranian Ambassador to Ireland, His Excellency Javad Kachoueian, Mr Kent said “Huge opportunities for exports of beef and sheepmeat to Iran exist if the market was to open.”

“I would urge the Irish government to look at diplomatic missions to Iran and I would also call on the banking sector to provide facilitates for financial transactions between Irish and Iranian interests.”

ENDS

ICSA ON-FARM SHEEP DEMONSTRATION

THE FARM OF MERVYN SUNDERLAND

REDCROSS, CO. WICKLOW – 7 DECEMBER 2016

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ICSA is hosting an on-farm sheep demonstration featuring – the benefit & utilisation of Catch Crop/Green Cover including fattening store lambs.
Speakers to include : Dr. Mary McEvoy – Germinal: To discuss benefits for sheep to graze on catch crop / green cover.
Mr. Simon Byrne, Agricultural Consultant, to discuss GLAS & growth of catch crops / green cover.
Dermot O’Sullivan – ICM Camolin: To discuss current market conditions & prospects.
Mr. Rory Phelan, Agronomist, will be available to answer queries on crops.
This event will take place on the farm of Mervyn Sunderland, Redcross, Co. Wicklow.
All welcome.
For more information contact 057 8662120
This event is kindly supported by Quinn’s of Baltinglass

ICSA SLAMS PROPOSED EU LEGISLATION ON CLEAN ENERGY

30 NOVEMBER 2016

ICSA president Patrick Kent has slammed EU Commission proposals for new legislation on clean energy which has serious implications for crop based biofuels. Speaking following publication of the document Mr Kent said “It beggars belief that these proposals can be described as a clean energy policy, when they actually undermine crop based biofuels.”

These proposals refer to the target for the crop biofuel component of EU transport fuels. It demands a reduction from 7% down to 3.8% by 2030.

Continuing Mr Kent said “Up to this point, the Commission has been supportive of biofuels yet they have now decided to reverse their policy without any scientific basis for so doing. Crop based biofuels are good for farmers, good for the environment and good for Europe. This move today from the Commission simply defies logic and ICSA will be pressing for its immediate reconsideration.”

ENDS