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ICSA Calls on Teagasc to Clarify Athenry Plans

Nov 29, 2014 | Press Releases | 0 comments

29th November 2014

ICSA national sheep chairman Paul Brady has called on Teagasc and the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, to immediately clarify their intentions regarding the development of a suckler research herd in Athenry.

Mr. Brady has asked for reassurance that none of the lands currently used by Teagasc for sheep research would be utilised in this new project.  “Any diminution of the 567 acres occupied by Teagasc for sheep research as at 1st November 2013 would in my opinion be a seriously retrograde step,” he said. “This is especially true in the wake of the closure of the Hill Sheep research centre in Leenane.  Sheep farming needs particular encouragement, especially in view of the deficit of sheep meat in Europe. It is a farming enterprise which is particularly suited to Irish climatic conditions as lambs can be finished mainly on grass. Proper research is essential if this industry is to move forward in the most efficient way possible.”

“ICSA welcomes the establishment of a suckler demonstration unit but we must question the suitability of the site,” continued Mr. Brady.  “The land around Athenry is of a quality that would be most untypical of that occupied by traditional suckler herds in Ireland, and results gleaned would therefore be of little relevance or use to the vast majority of suckler farmers. I am now asking Teagasc and the Minister to clarify their intentions in relation to Athenry, and to consult with the stakeholders before making any decisions on the project.”

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ICSA president Dermot Kelleher has said it is unacceptable that some 18,600 farmers will have to wait until February 2024 to receive their ACRES payment. “ICSA, along with other farmer representatives, today (6 December) met with senior Department of Agriculture officials in Portlaoise for an update on payments from the various farm schemes. At this meeting we were informed that no participant of the Cooperation Project (CP) stream of ACRES tranche one will be paid until February at the earliest. This news will come as a devasting blow to all those farmers who have been already waiting far too long for their payments,” he said.

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