Over 50 candidates declare for European elections
There are a number of farmers and candidates connected to agriculture among the 59 names that will contest the next European elections.

A total of 59 candidates have declared to contest the European Parliament election across the three Irish constituencies.

There are a number of farmers on the ballot papers. Current Minister of State for Agriculture and Wicklow suckler farmer Andrew Doyle will be running in the Ireland South constituency.

He will be joined by a farmer from Co Tipperary, Liam Minehan, and a retired farmer, Paddy FitzGerald. Both are running as independents.

The North-West constituency will see the three Irish MEPs currently sitting on the European Parliament’s agriculture committee, Mairead McGuinness, Matt Carthy and Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan, stand for election again.

They will be joined by Saoirse McHugh from Achill Island in Co Mayo. She will be running for the Green Party and describes herself as a “sustainable farming advocate”.

Serving Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan and former Minister for Agriculture Brendan Smith will also be contesting the European elections in the Midlands North-West constituency.

Midlands North-West

In the Midlands North-West constituency, comprising counties Leitrim, Monaghan, Donegal, Cavan, Louth, Galway, Roscommon, Mayo, Sligo, Kildare, Meath, Longford and Westmeath, 14 candidates have declared.

  • Cyril Brennan (Solidarity-People before Profit).
  • Matt Carthy (Sinn Féin).
  • Peter Casey (Independent).
  • Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan (Independent).
  • Patrick Greene (Direct Democracy Ireland).
  • Dominic Hannigan (Labour).
  • Fidelma Healy Eames (Independent).
  • Dilip Mahapatra (Independent).
  • Mairead McGuinness (Fine Gael).
  • Saoirse McHugh (Green Party).
  • James Miller (Independent).
  • Diarmaid Mulcahy (Independent).
  • Olive O'Connor (Independent).
  • Michael O’Dowd (Renua).
  • Anne Rabbitte (Fianna Fáil).
  • Brendan Smith (Fianna Fáil).
  • Maria Walsh (Fine Gael).
  • Sinn Féin’s Matt Carthy, Independents Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan and Marian Harkin and Fine Gael’s Mairead McGuinness are the outgoing MEPs. Marian Harkin has chosen not to stand again.

    Ireland South

    In the Ireland South constituency, comprising counties Carlow, Clare, Cork, Kerry, Kilkenny, Laois, Offaly, Tipperary, Wexford, Wicklow, Limerick and Waterford, 23 candidates have declared.

  • Allan Brennan (Independent).
  • Malcolm Byrne (Fianna Fáil).
  • Dolores Cahill (Independent).
  • Deirdre Clune (Fine Gael).
  • Andrew Doyle (Fine Gael).
  • Paddy Fitzgerald (Independent).
  • Breda Patricia Gardner (Independent).
  • Theresa Heaney (Independent).
  • Billy Kelleher (Fianna Fáil).
  • Sean Kelly (Fine Gael).
  • Peter Madden (Independent).
  • Liam Minehan (Independent).
  • Liadh ni Ríada (Sinn Féin).
  • Sheila Nunan (Labour).
  • Diarmuid O’Flynn (Independent).
  • Peter O’Loughlin (Identity Ireland).
  • Grace O’Sullivan (Green Party).
  • Walter Ryan-Purcell (Independent).
  • Joseph Sexton (Independent).
  • Jan Van De Ven (Direct Democracy Ireland).
  • Adrienne Wallace (Solidarity-People before Profit).
  • Mick Wallace (Independents for Change).
  • Colleen Worthington (Independent).
  • Deirdre Clune and Sean Kelly, Liada Ní Riada and Brian Crowley are the outgoing MEPs. Brian Crowley will not be standing again.


    In Dublin, 19 candidates have been declared.

  • Barry Andrews (Fianna Fáil).
  • Lynn Boylan (Sinn Féin).
  • Gillen Brien (Solidarity People before Profit).
  • Ciarán Cuffe (Green Party).
  • Clare Daly (Independents for Change).
  • Mark Durkan (Fine Gael).
  • Frances Fitzgerald (Fine Gael).
  • Gary Gannon (Social Democrats).
  • Ben Gilroy (Independent).
  • Rita Harrold (Solidarity-People before Profit).
  • Alice Mary Higgins (Independent).
  • Hermann Kelly (Independent).
  • Tony Bosco Lowth (Independent).
  • Aisling McNiffe (Independent).
  • Mark Mullan (Independent).
  • Eamonn Murphy (Independent).
  • Gemma O’Doherty (Independent).
  • Eilis Ryan (The Workers Party).
  • Alex White (Labour).
  • The outgoing MEPs are Brian Hayes, Lynn Boylan and Nessa Childers. Only Lynn Boylan is standing again.

    The farmer's daily wrap: farm fatality, African swine fever and bees
    Here is your news round-up of the five top farming stories and weather outlook for Saturday 24 May.

    Weather forecast

    Met Éireann has said that it will be rather cloudy at first on Saturday, with patches of light rain or drizzle, mainly affecting the western half of the country.

    Cloud is forecast to start to break later in the morning, with spells of sunshine for the afternoon and evening.

    However, Atlantic coastal areas will remain quite dull and damp.

    It looks set to be a humid day, with top temperatures ranging from 16°C to 20°C in light to moderate southwesterly breezes.

    In the news

  • There is a mixed bag of weather ahead for the weekend, with showers, sunshine and highs of 20°C.
  • Minister warning to holiday-makers over African swine fever: “Don’t bring back your sandwich; don’t bring back your salami.”
  • A man in his 60s has died following an accident on a farm in Aughnacliffe, Co Longford.
  • Just 207t of skimmed milk powder (SMP) remains in the EU’s intervention measure.
  • And Irish citizens are being asked to report sightings of bees in a nationwide online survey.
  • Coming up this Saturday

  • Good week/bad week.
  • Free trailer marking against theft.
  • The latest from Newford Farm.
    Three-man race for ICSA president
    The Irish Cattle and Sheep Association (ICSA) will elect a new president in June.

    Three candidates are in the running to become the next president of the ICSA following the close of nominations on Friday evening.

    In alphabetical order, these candidates are as follows:

  • Hugh Farrell, Cavan.
  • Dermot Kelleher, Cork west.
  • Edmond Phelan, Waterford.
  • The election will take place in Portlaoise on the evening of Thursday 27 June.

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    Watch: vegetable growers turn on the irrigation systems
    O’Shea Farms and Hughes Farming have both turned on the irrigation pumps this week.

    In order to combat dry conditions, O’Shea Farms and Hughes Farming were irrigating crops this week.

    Julian Hughes says he has never irrigated as early as May before and that he has two reels out at the moment, but will be putting another two out next week if there is no rain in the meantime.

    “We have a 30mm soil moisture deficit,” he said.

    “The fear of a repeat of 2018 is palpable in the yard at home, there’s dust everywhere.”

    In a normal year, he said that he would irrigate the crops in July and August.

    But so far he has put 30mm on parsnips and followed up five days later with another 30mm.

    “You could ask are we selecting higher-yielding varieties that need more inputs. But I’m using the same variety with the last 20 years.

    "It’s just very dry. We need 50mm over three days to get things balanced up.”

    Agronomist with O’Shea farms Tom Murray said that it would be normal for them to be irrigating at this time of year. They grow carrots in Piltown and Carrick-on-Suir.

    “We’re putting on 12mm to 15mm, not any more than that. We don’t want to wash away any pre-emergence spray,” Tom said.

    “There has been years before when we needed to irrigate to encourage germination. But the soil is starting to dry out and we want to be ahead of it.”

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    Fields drying up as some farmers wait for rain

    Flood risk farmers urged to make submissions

    Crops remain in good condition but have become more variable