There was an excellent gathering of stakeholders in Westport last week to discuss the future of the country’s uplands, The Dealer hears.

Great credit must go to Teagasc for organising the symposium, and to Catherine Keena, in particular, who has been banging the uplands and ecology drum within the State organisation for a long time.

However, one of the take-home messages from the day was the extent to which Teagasc neglected research into hill farming over the last two decades and is well off the pace compared to its counterparts in Northern Ireland and Britain.

Now that Teagasc is re-engaging with the hills, will the organisation commit to a hill research farm or simply piggyback on the work being carried out by CAFRE north of the border?

That was the big question all were asking leaving Westport.