• It's emerged that 195 farmers will be directly affected by the proposed Galway City ring road.

    The N6 ring road will run around the city from Barna in the west, to Ballybrit in the East.


    Last month, the Cabinet approved the Galway City ringroad development, and announced that - in total - 1,000 compulsory purchase order letters would be issued.

    The Irish Farmers Journal reports that an environmental impact assessment submitted to An Bord Pleanala shows 195 farms are directly affected by the proposed road development.

    The main farm enterprises along the proposed ringroad route are beef and sheep farms -with these lands assessed as having a low to medium sensitivity to the devleopent.

    However, there is one high-sensitivity beef enterprise and two high-sensitivity dairy enterprises along the route.

    Also, the Galway Racecourse is classified as very high sensitivity, due to the equine enterprise and its regional importance.

    In total, 6 dairy farms, 119 beef farms and 4 sheep farms are in some way affected by the proposed road.

    For the environmental impact assessment, the agricultural study area consisted of 195 land parcels and 1,096 hectares of land - of which 219 hectares is within the proposed development boundary.


  • The Department of Agriculture is warning of a scam, where farmers are receiving phone calls from a person purporting to represent the Department, and seeking bank details.

    The person says they need the details to offer refunds or seek due payments.

    The Department says their staff never seek bank details or any other personal information by phone or text message.

    Anyone receiving such a phone call is urged not to share their information.

    If they do provide personal information in response to a fraudulent call, they should contact their bank or credit card company immediately, and alert Gardai.



  • A former cabinet minister is calling for more talks to be held immediately to try to resolve the beef-farming dispute.

    Two rounds of negotiations were held recently between Beef Plan and Meat Industry Ireland, which represents factories.

    But farmers failed to secure the price increases they wanted  and unofficial protests have resumed outside some meat factories.

    Independent Roscommon TD and former environment minister Denis Naughten is calling for mediation talks to be convened immediately in an effort to find a solution.

  • Direct payments to farmers selected for an inspection by the Department of Agriculture will not encounter payment delays this year.

    That's according to IFA Deputy President Brian Rushe who says the Department has confirmed that they have now secured flexibility from the EU Commission to make payments on inspection cases where they are not fully complete.

    He said in previous years it was most frustrating and unsatisfactory that many farmers who were selected for inspection incurred payment delays.

    Mr. Rushe says with over 129,000 farmers making a Basic Payment application across all the schemes and the severe income problems from the COVID-19 crisis this year, it is absolutely essential that all farmers are paid on time.

  • Farming organisations are calling for more assistance for farmers during the Covid-19 crisis.

    The Irish Natura & Hill Farmers Association is calling for an additional €100 million to be added to the 2020 ANC scheme to compensate the primary producers of sucklers, store cattle, sheep and lambs.

    INHFA President Colm O'Donnell says the Agriculture Minister has a duty of care to ensure that our primary producers get financial supports as quickly as possible to help with cash flow.

    Meanwhile, as beef prices continue their downward trend this week, the IFA is calling on the Government to distribute the €24 million euro unspent from the Beef Exceptional Aid Measure to be distributed to farmers, to help alleviate their financial pressures during the current crisis.

    The Irish Farmers Association is calling putting pressure on the European Commission to implement an "Aids to Private Storage" scheme, which would put beef into storage until markets recover from the current crisis.

  • A scuffle broke out this morning between beef farmers and the boss of Meat Industry Ireland outside the Department of Agriculture in Dublin.

    The angry scenes came ahead of the first meeting of the Beef Market Taskforce - which was set up following the dispute which led to blockades at dozens of meat factories - including Dawn Meats in Ballyhaunis.

    The talks haven't started because farmers stopped MII's representatives getting into the building.

    They say the taskforce shouldn't meet until all legal threats against farmers are lifted.


    However, Cormac Healy from Meat Industry Ireland insists the legal threats against farmers have been dropped.

  • One of the country's largest retail distribution centres is being blockaded by farmers in a protest over beef prices.

    The Irish Farmers' Association has begun a 12 hour protest outside the Aldi nationwide warehouse in Naas, blocking access to delivery trucks.

    They're demanding better prices for beef, claiming prices in Ireland are well below UK and EU levels.

    IFA Connacht Regional Chairman Padraic Joyce says the price differences have left farmers very angry which has resulted in huge numbers turning out in Nass this morning.

  • Commuters in Dublin face travel disruption this morning, as a tractor protest by beef farmers continues. 

    Hundreds of demonstrators descended on the capital yesterday, with many sleeping in their tractors overnight.

    Gardaí have closed Kildare Street, Molesworth Street, and parts of Merrion Square and St. Stephen's Green until the protest is over.

    Farmers say they remain defiant in their fight to get better prices for their cattle.

    They handed a submission in to the Taoiseach’s office last night and are hopeful of a response today.

    One farmer from East Mayo told Midwest News this morning that the feeling on the ground is that they are going to wait in the capital until they get a reply from Leo Varadkar.

  • Farmers are continuing to protest outside meat factories today - despite High Court actions.

    Yesterday, a judge granted a permanent injunction stopping protesters disrupting operations at certain plants.

    But several pickets are taking place again today including at Dawn Meats Plant in Ballyhaunis.

    IFA president Joe Healy says the only solution is for factories to pay farmers more for their animals.

  • Irish farmers are furious over a new free-trade deal with South America.

    The Mercosur agreement paves the way for imports of cheaper beef from South America across the EU.

    IFA President Joe Healy says it's bad news for Ireland, for consumers and for the environment.

  • Farmers from across the region travelled to Co Leitrim today to protest at what they claim is an “unworkable” fodder support scheme.

    Mayo, Galway, Roscommon, Sligo and Leitrim farmers were all represented at the demonstration which took place at Department of Agriculture offices in Drumshanbo, with farmers calling for the immediate introduction of a meal voucher scheme for those experiencing fodder shortages.

    The protest was organised by the Irish Natura & Hill Farmers Association, who say the Agriculture Minister has ignored the principal recommendation of the fodder committee, which was for a meal voucher scheme.

    While the Minister did deliver a transport subsidy, its restrictive nature means it will not deliver for most farmers, according to National President Colm O’Donnell.

    He wants licenced hauliers who traditionally source quality fodder to be involved in the transport subsidy scheme, and he’s calling for a change to the 100km zone for sourcing fodder.

    The INHFA is also calling for square bales of hay and straw to be included in the scheme, and for local Agri stores to be added to the scheme where there is no Co-op in the area.

    The organisation is calling on Minister Michael Creed to reconvene the fodder action group to address the problems with the scheme designed by his Department and the co-operatives.

  • Farmers are continuing their protests outside meat factories, despite a High Court injunction banning blockades at some sites.

    The unofficial protests have been ongoing since Monday, after talks aimed at resolving the ongoing row over beef prices broke down.

    Dawn Meats, ABP, Slaney Meats and Kepak have been granted the orders, but some farmers are refusing to leave until they get better prices for their animals.

    Up to 30 farmers are protesting outside Dawn Meats in Ballyhaunis this morning and they are calling on farmers and the business community to get behind their plea and support their cause.

    Farmers told Midwest News this morning that their main reason for protesting stands tall, which is a better price for their cattle.

    Meanwhile, Pat O'Toole from the Irish Farmers Journal says the only way this can be resolved is if both sides get back to the negotiating table.

  • The IFA has welcomed clarification from the Department that a farmer who has incurred a substantial loss of income as a result of restrictions can qualify for the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment.

    It means that fulltime farmers who cannot sell their stock and therefore have no income can claim the payment, while part-time farmers who have lost off-farm employment and suffered substantial loss of income can also qualify.

    The IFA says farmers in  receipt of Farm Assist payments are not entitled to the Covid-19  Unemployment Payment.  However, if their income has deteriorated as a result of restrictions or loss of income, they can look for a reassessment of the Farm Assist. 

    Farmers  in receipt of the Rural Social Scheme is not entitled to the Covid-19 payment, but the existing payment is maintained.

  • Free farmer health checks will be available at Balla Mart and Roscommon Mart later this month.

    The Irish Farmers Journal is offering farmers the opportunity to have their blood pressure checked, receive exercise and lifestyle advice, a completed personal record card and educational materials.

    The free health checks will be conducted by nurses from Croí at Balla Mart on 14th November and Roscommon Mart on 20th November from 5-7pm, as part of the Beef & Sheep Mart demos taking place around the country.

  • The Minster for Agriculture Michael Creed will commence the second stage of talks in the beef dispute later today.

    As the beef dispute over prices that farmers are securing from meat processors drags on, the Minister has said that  “failure is not an option”.

    Since talks failed two weeks ago, the sector has been thrown into chaos.

    Individual farmers are continuing to protest at the gates of factories and some at supermarket distribution centres across the country.

    Overnight hundreds of farmers gathered at the entrance to Dawn Meats in Ballyhaunis and early this morning Midwest News spoke to the some of the farmers about the ongoing action.

    They said they hope that a solution will be found in the next 48 hours, as they said they are now in the fifth week of protests and their livelihoods are on the floor.

  • ICMSA Deputy President Lorcan McCabe has advised farmers that the preliminary checks system for BPS applications aimed at notifying applicants of any non-compliance in the areas of overclaims, dual claims, and overlaps is currently under way and will close in the next week.  Mr McCabe said that farmers can rectify any such non-compliance by the deadline of midnight 19 June with no penalty applied where the non-compliance issue is fully rectified by that date. He said that ICMSA is urging all farmers to check their BPS online accounts immediately. 

    “Where a farmer is signed up for text message alerts, a text will issue to advise them that they have a notification on their BPS account.  All notifications and responses can only be made via the online BPS system”, he said, going on to point out that given that there was 100% online BPS application in 2018, these checks should benefit to farmers by increasing the efficiency with which BPS applications can be processed, ICMSA has repeatedly stressed that there should be no delay in informing farmers if there is a further issue with their application and this must be done as soon as possible so that farmers can respond and get the issue resolved well in advance of the payment date.  

    “In the context of the extremely difficult year farmers have had to date, it’s critical that the ANC payment is made in September, the BPS payment in October and that all farmers must receive their payment within the Farmers Charter timeframe commitment. We do also think that the Minister for Agriculture, Food & Marine must seek the maximum possible advance payment as cashflow is - and will continue to be  - a major issue on farms and it would help massively if a 70% advance payment at a minimum is secured”,  said Mr McCabe.


  • With the silage season almost in full swing,  the ICMSA is appealing for all rural road users to be aware of extra tractors and machinery on roads over the next six weeks or so.

    With agricultural machinery getting bigger over the years, it's important that all roads users take extra care in the coming weeks - particularly on narrow rural roads.

    Denis Drennan, Chairperson of ICMSA’s Farm & Rural Affairs Committee, says farmers and contractors should be mindful of other road users, while motorists need to leave extra time to reach their destination in case they get stuck behind machinery.

    Speaking with Midwest News, he said all road users need to take extra precautions to ensure silage can be harvested safely without any road collisions.

  • The INHFA is advising farmers who want to tax their jeeps commercially in Mayo that they need to bring one of two specific forms with them.

    Gerry Loftus told Midwest News that the tax office cannot process commercial tax with just a herd or flock number. Up to this point, they were allowing some instances of this through, but it was only to accommodate the farmers and at the discretion of the staff.

    However, according to regulations, farmers are required to bring their tax cert with them so they can tax their jeep commercially. They can also produce their online receipt for their farm payments like the ANC or Single Farm Payment.

    Gerry Loftus told Midwest News that he sought the information to clear up the matter for farmers who had been in touch with the INHFA.

  • The Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association is holding a rally in the Clanree Hotel, Letterkenny on Friday next (January 25th) at 8pm.

    The rally is being held to highlight changes in the next round of CAP payments, which the INHFA say will have a huge impact on farmers in the next 6 years.

    INHFA National President Colm O’Donnell says the new conditions farmers will have to adhere to in order to get their Basic Payment are a cause of concern.

    Mr O’Donnell also says the Areas of Natural Constraint review and proposals will also be discussed on the night.

  • It has been announced that the Irish Natura and Hill Farmers’ Association has reached an agreement to supply 400 light lambs per week to Kepak Athleague.

    The INHFA confirmed this news at their recent AGM.

    The organisation have emphasised that this is a partnership effort between the farmers, Kepak and Bord Bia.

    Gerry Loftus of the INHFA says that for the last 10 years or more, there has been no light lamb quoted for by any factory.

    The INHFA will be supplying 400 light lambs a week to Kepak, from a carcass weight of 10kg to 15kg,starting on August 1.