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Tipperary Farmers March On Minister’s Constituency

Paidraig WalsheA large number of Tipperary farmers were among a group of over 7,000 protesters who gathered in the constituency of Minister Brendan Smith TD,  in Co.Cavan yesterday to demonstrate their views regarding cuts to the agriculture sector. Farmers say their industry is being decimated by a number of recent cutbacks and recommendations.

Farmers are irate following recommendations made in the recent An Bord Snip‘s  report, which calls for an end to the Suckler Cow Scheme and a winding down of the Rural Environment Protection Scheme (REPS). Under REPS, the Government has stopped accepting new applicants to the subsidy scheme, but existing participants will continue to receive payments for up to five years. However, the IFA says the move is another cutback on top of cuts in Disadvantaged Area Payments and Suckler Cow Payments made earlier this year.

IFA President Padraig Walshe stated that the recommendations contained Colm McCarthy’s report were a ‘barefaced attack on rural Ireland’.

Dept of Agriculture to reorganise Tipperary office networks

Meanwhile the Irish Department of Agriculture is now most likely to re-organise its Tipperary office network which will have a major effect right across County Tipperary. A new structure of approximately sixteen offices will provide for the co-location of staff currently based in the twenty-eight District Veterinary Offices, twenty Agricultural Environment and Structures Offices and ten Forestry Offices, shedding 400 jobs of the current workforce of 4,000 employees. In this report the Agricultural Environment Structures Office in Thurles, the Agricultural Environment Structures Office in Clonmel, the Cahir Forest Service Office and the Nenagh District Veterinary Office are all recommended for closure. If recommendations in the report are followed North Tipperary will now be served by Limerick while in the south of the county, Tipperary Town will be the centralised location.

North Tipp Fianna Fail Deputy Maire Hoctor stated that she is hoping that staff  employed within Nenagh and Thurles can be accommodated locally in both the Revenue and Social Welfare offices.

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