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TD Michael Lowry Calls For Solution To Beef Crisis

Independent TD Mr Michael Lowry pictured here with protesting farmers outside the ABP beef processing plant in Nenagh, North Co.Tipperary.

Independent Tipperary TD Mr Michael Lowry has called on all parties involved in the escalating beef dispute, to find a resolution to this current impasse, which is creating havoc within the entire beef industry.

Taking to Thurles.Info this morning, Mr Lowry stated, “I fail to understand why the recent beef forum did not fully address the central issue; which was and remains the increase in price for beef producers. This ongoing saga is and always was, an issue regarding underpayments to these primary producers”.

It is not sustainable to expect beef producers to continue to operate at a financial loss. It is also unethical to have a small and select group of processors controlling the beef producing industry, while creaming excess profits. There needs and must be, not just fairness, but equity and balance in relation to the distribution of profits within the industry,” continued Mr Lowry.

“I have requested the Minister of Agriculture, Mr Michael Creed, to again intervene in this crisis and to find a more equitable and indeed a final solution to this most contentious of farming issues. There is no doubt that beef producers are currently in a loss-making position and this situation cannot be allowed to continue. This current stance is not sustainable and its continued consequences are causing severe hardship amongst the farming community.” Mr Lowry concluded.

Meanwhile, farmers are maintaining their presence outside of meat plants here in Co. Tipperary, with unofficial protests resuming today at the ABP plants in both Cahir and Nenagh; despite the granting of High Court injunctions yesterday, against those farmers protesting.

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Beef Plan Protester Struck By Vehicle At Tipperary Factory.

Leinster House

As the Beef Plan Movement progress their protest plans outside various beef plants around Ireland; yesterday the Tipperary Chairman of the movement, Mr Joe Trehy, was removed to hospital following an incident outside an ABP Food Group factory, at Kilcommon More (North), Cahir, in Co. Tipperary.

Mr Trehy was hospitalized having been hit by a Jeep and trailer, latter trying to enter the meat factory, where a peaceful protest by Beef Plan Movement members and farmers had been taking place, since Monday last. Mr Trehy, who complained of back and neck injuries, is understood today to be recovering satisfactorily.

The Beef Plan Movement and farmers speak of frustration and aggression after, over two weeks on from their Beef Plan’s protest outside parliament buildings at Leinster House in Dublin, the group state that there has been absolutely no correspondence from the Agriculture Minister Mr Michael Creed TD; his assistant Mr Andrew Doyle TD or any Department official.

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Lowry Will Oppose Mercosur Deal

Tipperary TD Michael Lowry.

“The Mercosur deal which would allow Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina to access EU markets is a bad deal for our Irish farmers”, Tipperary Independent Deputy Michael Lowry stated yesterday.

The Deputy continued, “This deal will result in what is estimated to be an extra 99,000 tonnes of beef emanating from these four South American countries, causing untold damage to our Irish beef farming sector”.

“I have already informed the Minister for Agriculture Mr Michael Creed that Ireland should not endorse this agreement in its present format. Although the EU has promised to protect food standards and environmental factors as part of the deal on imported beef, farmers here are already feeling uncertain about the fallout of a potential no Brexit deal”, he continued.

Deputy Lowry further stated, “We will need to see our Minister for Agriculture and our Taoiseach fight for the Irish beef farmers at EU level. How can we enforce a guarantee against the risk of undocumented and potentially infected animal breeds, should this deal be ratified. We must not overlook the issues regarding standards when it comes to beef coming from Brazil. Traditionally Brazil has been permitted to export its beef, despite standards not reflecting those of the EU.”

“The environmental impacts in terms of the carbon footprint used by exporting this amount of beef , as well as the problems associated with deforestation in Brazil, means that this deal, if ratified, is even more damaging to the environment than it is to our Irish beef sector. Brazil currently maintains record levels of deforestation”.

Concluding Deputy Lowry stated, “I do recognise that the Mercosur deal does potentially opens markets for Europe’s motor industry, financial services and telecommunications; signalling hugely beneficial opportunities. However, our Government needs to be mindful of the market disruption to our own agricultural sector, which will undoubtedly cause huge financial losses to our beef producers. Our rural communities are already at risk with falling beef prices, and the overall uncertainty of Brexit. Therefore, I have called on the Government to vehemently oppose the ratification of this Mercosur deal on behalf of farming communities in Tipperary and countrywide.

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Farm Accident Takes Life Of Tipperary Man

A man in his fifties; a resident of Ballyporeen, Co Tipperary, has died following a tragic farm accident. The victim has been named locally as Mr Philip Lonergan and the accident occurred near Glenville, Co Cork last evening, at about 5:00pm.

Discovered by Gardaí, who were called to the property; it is understood that Mr Lonergan sustained fatal injuries when his tractor overturned, while he was spreading slurry in a field and despite treatment by emergency services; he died before he could be transferred to Cork University Hospital.

Following this tragic accident, his body was removed to the mortuary at Cork University Hospital where a post-mortem examination will be carried out and a file will be prepared for the local Coroner following an investigation by the Health and Safety Authority.

Go ndéana Dia trócaire ar a anam dílis.

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Ireland’s air pollutant emissions – Wrong Pathway For Cleaner Air

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report on 2017 emission levels for the five main air pollutants.

These figures show that ammonia emissions increased by 2% cent in 2017. The trend in increasing ammonia emissions is projected to continue out to 2030.
Emissions of non-methane volatile organic compounds also increased. Ireland is projected to exceed the 2030 emission ceiling for this pollutant.
While emissions of nitrogen oxides decreased in 2017, emissions are projected to be non-compliant with national limits in 2030.
Emissions of two other air pollutants; sulphur dioxide and particulate matter, decreased in 2017. These pollutants are projected to remain compliant with national limits, provided planned measures are implemented.

The EPA today published figures for emissions of five key air pollutants. These pollutants impact environment and health contributing to respiratory problems and pollution of soil, surface water and vegetation. These pollutants are: ammonia, non-methane volatile organic compounds, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter.

This latest information from the EPA shows that ammonia emissions increased by 2% in 2017, which followed a 5% increase in 2016. Agriculture dominates emissions of ammonia, which arise from the decomposition of animal manures and the application of fertiliser. This trend in increasing emissions is projected to continue out to 2030.

In addition, emissions of non-methane volatile organic compounds showed an increase in 2017. These pollutants arise from the food and beverage industry and the storage and handling of animal manures and synthetic fertilisers. Non-methane volatile organic compound emissions are projected to increase slightly to 2030 as the gains from switching to less polluting sources are outweighed by increased economic activity and population growth. Ireland is therefore projected to exceed the more challenging 2030 non-methane volatile organic compounds emission ceiling, despite being in compliance for 2020.

Dr Eimear Cotter, (Director of Office of Environmental Sustainability) said: “Our figures show that ammonia levels are on an upward trend, in tandem with increased agricultural production, and that they breached national limits in 2016 and 2017. This has implications for air and water quality.The National Air Pollution and Control Programme, currently out for public consultation, will need to address these emissions particularly as they are projected to increase further to 2030. The underlying driver for these emissions is the application of more animal manure to soils — mostly as an organic fertiliser — and the increase in the use of inorganic fertilisers. Options to increase efficiencies and reduce fertiliser use will need to be implemented at farm level.”

Emissions of other air pollutants – sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter – decreased in 2017. This reflects a general downward trend in emissions since 1990 reflecting the impact of fuel switching from coal and peat to natural gas, penetration of renewables and technology improvements. Looking to the future, however, while sulphur dioxide and particulate emissions are projected to remain compliant with substantially lower national limits in 2030, provided planned measures are implemented, this is not envisaged to be the case for nitrogen oxide emissions. Nitrogen oxide emissions are projected to be non-compliant with national limits in 2030, with the transport sector projected to continue to be a key source of emissions.

Stephen Treacy, (EPA Senior Manager) said: “We have seen the positive impact of a range of policy measures and regulatory interventions since 1990 which are particularly evident in declining sulphur dioxide and particulate emissions. Fuel switching and the move to more renewables has brought dividends in terms of cleaner air, with effective regulatory intervention from the EPA also playing a role. It is important that this good work is not reversed in the context of a growing economy. Further measures are needed to meet national limits in the period from now to 2030, particularly for the pollutants ammonia, nitrogen oxides and non-methane volatile organic compounds”.

For further detail on these figures, see the EPA web published report “Ireland’s Air Pollutant Emissions 1990-2030” available HERE

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