Sligo allocated €17,000 to make rundown structures inhabitable.
Sligo News File Online
The Government has announced funding for the rehabilitation of abandoned old local authority houses to accommodate families evicted from their homes.
Some 140 derelict or disused Sligo structures are to be restored for which €17,000 per structure has been granted.
Across the country, families are being evicted from their homes on an ever increasing scale. Sleeping on the streets has become the norm for many people and their children. Scandalously, it’s happening after the The government refused to accept billions in back taxes from the Apple corporation – a figure the EU ruled is due to Ireland – which could have ended the suffering being endured by so many.
Local Fine Gael TD, Tony McLoughlin says that overhauling derelict or vacant dwellings is “a key plank of Minister Simon Coveney’s radical new ‘Rebuilding Ireland’ housing plan.”
Government has ruled out an extension of spreading season or exemptions.
Sligo News File Online.
Sligo Dail Deputy Eamon Scanlon is apparently concerned following the Government’s refusal to allow slurry spreading outside last weekend’s closing date for the spreading season.
He reportedly said farmers were “up all night” trying to get slurry spread before the October 15 deadline but failed to complete the operation owing to severe weather, flooding and wet ground.
He is also said to have stated that some farmers “are facing animal welfare issues” because of full slurry tanks, and has provided a telephone number where those affected can contact the Department of Agriculture.
However, the Department of Local Government within whose remit the EU Nitrates Directive slurry spreading controls are administered said at the weekend that the Minister, Simon Coveney has not extended or amended the final date for the application of organic fertilisers, including animal slurry. They also stated that no exemptions had been granted.
The Department of Agriculture told Sligo News File that the department “works in support” on the implementation of the EU Nitrates regulations. They stated “We understand that the Department of Housing, Planning, Community, and Local Government “has no plans for an extension.”
A government source said the time frame for spreading had been previously extended in 2011 and 2012 when weather conditions were “horrific.” Although this was “very much a once off,” it nevertheless had caused Ireland “a lot of difficulties with the EU Commission.” They were “sceptical about our ability to maintain the Nitrates Action Programme,” and “were putting a lot of pressure on us to insist on extra storage capacity among farmers.”
The current Fine Gael/Fianna Fail partnership has still not come up with any job creation strategy for the North West.
That is according to Sligo-Leitrim Fianna Fail Deputy Marc
MacSharry who, earlier this week, was branded “a joke” when he clashed with Local Government Minister, Simon Coveney during a Dail debate on the financial state of debt-ridden Sligo County Council.
In a statement on Thursday in which he criticised the failure of the Government to properly plan for Brexit, he singled out Fine Gael saying that more than 500 FDI jobs were lost in Sligo and Leitrim since 2012 under Fine Gael Governments “and they have still not come up with any job creation strategy for the region.
“Unless it concerns Dublin or the commuter counties, they simply have no interest,” he said. “Their record on job creation reflects that.”
His statement adds, “Fine Gael is continuing to starve the North
West of investment, creating major problems for the region. The previous Government neglected the region and has left it starved of infrastructure investment, making it even more difficult to attract Foreign Direct Investment.
“The uncertainty surrounding the Apple tax ruling could also have a negative impact on our ability to secure new investment opportunities from abroad.
“The lack of a tangible plan to deal with Brexit is nothing short of disgraceful. The Government cannot continue to bury its head in the sand and wait to react to events. Ministers should have an action plan, which outlines the possible consequences for the country and has a range of tangible plans to deal with them.
“Unfortunately, this Government appears to be sleepwalking into a potential crisis and is refusing to listen to people who are seriously concerned about the fallout from Brexit.”
Pressure is building on Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan to defend the Irish livestock sector in EU trade negotiations with the United States and South America.
President of the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers Association Patrick Kent told Hogan that Irish farmers cannot compete with industrial-scale production units in North or South America and that the livestock sector is “very vulnerable to trade deals, particularly in the context of Brexit.”
“We have to defend EU standards of food production,” he stressed
The chairman of the association’s national sheep committee John Brooks asked Hogan to “guarantee that every effort was made to ensure that the single market functioned effectively for live exports as well as meat exports.”
There must be “no artificial blockages that delay or undermine our ability to export cattle or sheep for further feeding or direct for slaughter where markets in other EU states could offer a real alternative,” he said.
He also submitted it was “not acceptable that UK supermarkets hide behind EU labeling rules to prevent UK farmers from buying Irish
stores and finishing them in the UK.” The elimination of “unnecessary holding periods in the case of sheep exports” was also imperative, he added.
The general secretary of the association Eddie Punch called on Hogan to “open up the food chain to full transparency in terms of who gets what.”
He said, “We need to see what margins are being taken by retailers and processors. What we know is that the primary producer does
not get enough to be viable, but we need all the member states working together with the EU to demand fair play for farmers.”
The ICSA delegation met with Hogan as part of a larger delegation of Irish farmers organised by Sean Kelly, MEP.