Government announces move to renovate derelict council houses.

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.”

TDs step up for salary boost

Additional €14,000 for Sligo Deputy McLoughlin.

Sligo News File Online

Ballina-based Dara Calleary has reportedly said he will accept the

Dara Calleary TD, Fianna Fail, Mayo.
Dara Calleary TD,
Fianna Fail, Mayo.

recently announced €5,000 salary boost for TDs.

He is also said to have stated that most Fianna Fail Deputies will take the award.

So far, there has been no indication from Sligo’s Oireachtas members Marc MacSharry, Eamon Scanlon or Tony McLoughlin that they have refused the top up.

Tony McLoughlin TD, Fine Gael Sligo-Leitrim.
Tony McLoughlin TD, Fine Gael Sligo-Leitrim.

McLoughlin (67) is also seeing his Dail salary bumped up by a further €14,000 following his appointment as assistant party chief whip.

He also receives €8,740 as a member of the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly.

TDs are currently on a salary of €87,258.

No provision for ’emergency’ slurry spreading

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.

slurry spreading 2He 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 Water 2the 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.”

Fianna Fail TD says ‘Fine Gael continuing to starve North West of investment’

‘More than 1200 FDI jobs lost since 2012’

Sligo News File Online.

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

Fianna Fail TD Marc MacSharry: '500 FDI jobs lost since 2012.'
Fianna Fail TD Marc MacSharry: ‘500 FDI jobs lost since 2012.’

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

Minister for Local Government Simon Coveney. Branded MacSharry 'a joke' during Dail clashes on finances of Sligo County Council.
Minister for Local Government Simon Coveney. Branded MacSharry ‘a joke’ during Dail clashes on finances of Sligo County Council.

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.”

ICSA pressure on Hogan to defend Irish livestock industry

‘Sector highly vulnerable to trade deals.’

Sligo News File Online

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.

Patrick Kent, President. ICSA
Patrick Kent, President.

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.”

EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan.
EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan.

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

John Brooks, Chairman, ICSA National Sheep Committee
John Brooks, Chairman,
ICSA National Sheep Committee

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

Eddie Punch, General Secretary, ICSA
Eddie Punch, General Secretary, ICSA

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.