• 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.


  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Dawn Meats has been granted permission to bring attachment and committal proceedings against a protester at a meat plant, back to the High Court on Friday.

    It's after farmers continued to block access to factories despite a high court injunction stopping them from protesting.

    The pickets have stemmed from a row over beef prices.

    Dawn Meats said it was forced to return to the High Court today to request the enforcement of the injunction and that similar action may be taken against further individuals.

    Injunction were also granted to Slaney Meats and Kepak banning protests at their factories.


  • Commenting on recent claims in relation to the share of retail beef price received by producers, Meat Industry Ireland (MII) has issued a statement to Midwest News saying “It is important to set the record straight on this issue.  Suggestions that farmers receive 20% of every €10 spent by consumers of beef in retail outlets are inaccurate.  In fact, the producer share of retail beef prices is closer to two-thirds.”

    Meat Industry Ireland’s statement goes on to state that “based on independently published data on Irish retail sales prices, on the mix of beef cuts purchased by Irish consumers and the yield factors involved, the actual price paid to beef producers represents 63% of the average retail beef price on a carcase weight equivalent basis. This can be independently verified.”

    “The same pattern of producer share of retail market price is evident in other EU markets where Irish beef sales predominate (UK; Germany; France; Holland).” 

    The statement concludes, “Independent commentators recognise that there is a very weak beef market, primarily caused by a very poor demand, across all major export markets as well as the uncertainty created by the risk of a No-Deal Brexit in two months.  While no one disputes that current market returns have driven cattle prices to a 5-year low, inaccurate statements on share of return from the marketplace do not help to resolve the critical challenges faced by the entire beef sector.”



  • Minister Michael Creed appeared before the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriclture, Food and the Marine yesterday, to brief the Committee on the fodder crisis.

    The meeting was requested by Mayo Fine Gael Senator Michelle Mulherin last week, during the parliamentary recess, in order to address the issue.

    Minister Creed confirmed that he will be meeting with the main banks in order to ensure that farmers can access credit during this time and also confirmed that the €1.5m limit on the fodder support scheme would be raised, should it be necessary to continue the support.

    Members of the committee also raised the issue of inspections and the added pressure that they could bring at this time. It was suggested that a case be made for inspections to be waived under the fodder shortage is resolved. Flexibility in relation to credit was also cited as vital and meal vouchers were another subject raised as an option for farmers who fields are still too water-logged for grass to grow and who cannot put their animals out to grass yet.

    The Committee members welcomed the assistance measures announced by the Minister, which include extending the closing dates for various schemes and greater operational flexibility for road hauliers engaged in the transport of fodder.

  • Minister for Agriculture Food and the Marine Michael Creed announced today that he has extended the duration of both the Fodder Import and Fodder Transport support measures for an additional week. These measures which were scheduled to conclude on Monday April 30th will now run until Monday 7th May.

    The Minister said ''While the weather has improved and grass growth continues to improve significantly, there are farmers in some parts of the country who still need to locate fodder for their animals. Having reviewed the situation and listened to the views of members of the representative fodder group I established in March, I have decided that extending the closing date for the two measures for one further week is appropriate”.

    Demand for fodder has reduced significantly. However, there remain some areas where land is not yet sufficiently dry to graze livestock and there is still a short term demand for fodder.

    Concluding, Minister reaffirmed that ‘these measures are effectively addressing issues around fodder availability”.

    The Minister reminded farmers that the animal welfare emergency assistance continues to operate where animal welfare is seriously at risk via the emergency helpline numbers – Call Save  0761 064408 or phone 01 6072379.