Agriculture Minister

  • The Agriculture Minister says he hopes progress can be made at talks between farming stakeholders tomorrow.

    Members of the Beef Plan Movement and Meat Industry Ireland will be among those attending, in their dispute over animal prices.

    Michael Creed says the discussions are important as the toxic relationship between the Meat Industry and Irish farmers can't continue.

  • The Agriculture Minister Dara Calleary has resigned.

    He has just told Midwest News that he tendered his resignation to the Taoiseach and it has been accepted.

    He apologised last night for going to a golf event attended by 80 people that broke Covid 19 guidelines.

    The minister admitted he shouldn't have gone to the Oireachtas Golf Society dinner at a hotel in Clifden, Co. Galway on Wednesday.

    The government's guidelines state only six people can attend indoor gatherings - with some exceptions for up to 50 people.

  • The Minister for Agriculture is being accused of sitting back and watching from the side-lines as Ireland's beef farmers sink to their knees.

    Fianna Fail's spokesperson on Agriculture says the Government can't expect farmers to continue carrying losses as beef prices continue to fall.

    Charlie McConalogue says Minister Creed must roll up his sleeves and tackle the frustration that has led farmers to the picket lines all this week.

    The IFA says a 'sweet-heart' deal between the EU and President Trump is another example of beef farmers being sacrificed for other sectors.

    The association's Livestock Chairman Angus Woods says beef imports are already seriously undermining EU and Irish beef prices and the new deal will further escalate the crisis.

  • The Agriculture Minister has launched the Bord Bia Beef Market Tracking Tool.

    It was devised in response to requests at the beef talks in September for enhanced market transparency.

    The tracking tool is based on three components - cattle price index, beef market price index and an offal indicator.

    IFA President Joe Healy says that the new beef price indices shows that the beef market is improving and that farmers must get an immediate price increase.

  • The IFA will meet with the Minister for Agriculture today amid claims that the factories are cutting lamb prices and plunging the sheep sector into an income crisis.

    IFA National Sheep Chairman Sean Dennehy says lamb prices and hogget prices are down €1.50 per kg on this time last year - which is equivalent to a price cut of over  €30 per lamb.

    Mr Dennehy says it's a scandal that factories are paying more for old cull ewes than new season spring lamb.

    At their meeting with Minister Creed, the IFA will be asking him to challenge the factories in relation to the price cuts.

     

  • The Minister for Agriculture Food and the Marine, Dara Calleary T.D., has today announced the award of grants worth €1.2 million to 93 local community groups and micro enterprises by six of the seven Fisheries Local Action Groups established under Ireland’s European Maritime and Fisheries Fund Programme. 

    The grants are co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Union. 

    Announcing the first tranche of grant awards for 2020, Minister Calleary said, “The FLAG Scheme under my Department’s EMFF Seafood Development Programme is unique in having representatives of our traditional fishing communities make the funding award decisions so that vital local funding gets to the many community development groups and events in our fishing communities, together with important development funding to micro enterprises involved in fisheries and aquaculture, marine tourism and marine leisure activities. 

    Minister Calleary added, “The FLAG Scheme has been operating for just a few years now and with its €12 million allocation under my Department’s EMFF Programme, it has gone from strength to strength.  This is testament not just to the demand for such local development funding but very much to the hard work of the local volunteers to make up the boards of each of our seven FLAGs.”

  • The Agriculture Minister is being called on to fast track talks on the beef crisis. 

    Minister Michael Creed scheduled talks for Monday, which are aimed at resolving the long-running dispute.

    However, Independent Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice wants them brought forward to this afternoon. 

    He says there appears to be a real will across all sides to find a resolution, and the Minister should strike while the iron is hot.

  • A Sligo TD claims some farmers are going hungry themselves to feed their stock, as difficult weather conditions since the autumn impacted fodder supplies in many parts of the country.

    The scramble for fodder has resulted in keen competition for supplies, and the price of good quality fodder hit record prices in the west.

    Deputy Eamon Scanlon has said over the past three weeks, he has received numerous calls from farmers in Sligo-Leitrim, north Roscommon and south Donegal who are suffering severe hardship as they try to provide fodder for their stock.

    While the Agriculture Minister Michael Creed introduced a transport subsidy scheme, Deputy Scanlon says it’s of no benefit to farmers, as hay increased by €8 per bale and silage by €12.

    Deputy Scanlon says it’s a health issue for many people and he’s calling for farmers to be front-loaded by €1,000 to help them to survive and to feed their families and their stock over the next month as some farmers are going hungry to feed their animals.

    Minister Michael Creed says delayed turn-out of some stock is increasing the demand for fodder and accommodation.

    He said it should be noted that the targeted, localised scheme to provide a subsidy for long distance transport of fodder is open and available to farmers affected by fodder shortages in the West and North West of the country.

    To support those in more immediate difficulties, the Department’s emergency phone line for animal welfare issues remained open and attended at all times, the Minister said, and all requests for support were responded to.