Save Leitrim calls for halt to forestry until study complete
Save Leitrim was highly critical of Minister Doyle's refusal to engage with the group over the terms of reference for a study of forestry in Leitrim.

Save Leitrim has called on Minister for State Andrew Doyle to declare a moratorium on any further afforestation in Leitrim until an independent study is completed.

A halt will at least show some goodwill to communities

While the group is not fully satisfied with the study’s terms of reference, it said a halt will at least show some goodwill to communities.

Save Leitrim said it was shocked that the minister did not engage or meet with its representatives, despite a request to do so in advance of finalising the terms.

It said the terms were set out to avoid any examination of aspects of the current forestry policy it feels causes the most of the problems.


A spokesperson for Save Leitrim said: “The minister does not seem to have taken on board any of the expressed concerns of the people or communities in Leitrim in setting the terms of reference.”

The spokesperson said the terms were very limited and simplistic and would not allow the UCD team to fully investigate the concerns of both the farming and local communities.


The group also questioned the independence of the report, citing the involvement of UCD in “the education of foresters, in providing research services and supports and such close associations with the forestry industry and various corporations which are leading and championing the plantation of Leitrim”.

Save Leitrim said it had little confidence the report would provide any answers which could address the problems communities faced from forestry.

“This is a real missed opportunity and sadly displays a willingness by the minister to disregard participation by the people who the study is supposed to be helping.”

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‘You don’t need a review to see there’s a problem in Leitrim’ – INHFA

Independent review launched into forestry in Leitrim

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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    Family-owned feedlots entitled to compensation – ICSA

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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