Christmas turkeys had a short-lived flight for freedom last week, when the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) provided €1.2m at the 11th hour to settle a funding dispute between it and local authorities which could have ended in 100,000 homes being without a Christmas turkey.

The County and City Management Association (CCMA) use the FSAI funding, provided by the Department of Health, to manage and pay for vets who certify small-scale abattoirs, but the CCMA had complained repeatedly of funding cuts with talks reaching a stalemate.