Press Releases

TAMS2 may provide solution to shed conversion costs – Ó Cuív

30th October 2015 Fianna Fáil Agriculture Spokesperson Éamon Ó Cuív has welcomed clarification that grants to convert existing sheds to slatted units is covered under the TAMS2 Scheme. The Galway West TD sought clarification on the issue from the Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney, who has confirmed that funding is covered under the TAMS2 programme. Deputy Ó Cuív commented, “I had been contacted by a number of farmers who were unsure if they could apply for a grant to convert existing hay sheds and other similar sheds to slatted units.  Having submitted questions to the Agriculture Minister, he has now confirmed that in the case of existing loose houses grant aid is available for installing both slurry tanks and slats. “This will be of major interest to many farmers, as the conversion of sheds could prove a much more cost economic way of converting sheds, than the building of new sheds.  It could also, in certain circumstances, be easier to get planning permission for a conversion rather than a new build. “I would encourage farmers thinking of taking up this option to apply for the TAMS2 scheme without delay to ensure you comply with the specifications laid out under the scheme.  However, the grant could provide an ideal solution for farmers who want to extend their available space without having to construct new... read more

Beef farmers reluctant to sign up to Beef Genomics Scheme – Ó Cuív

30th October 2015 Fianna Fáil Agriculture Spokesperson Éamon Ó Cuív is putting renewed pressure on the Agriculture Minister to review the current Beef Data Genomics Scheme.  New figures released to the Galway West TD reveal that almost two-thirds of farmers have not submitted the relevant data to qualify for the programme. Deputy Ó Cuív explained, “Following a series of questions, Minister Coveney has confirmed that only 10,542 herd owners have submitted genotype samples to the laboratory.  More than 27,000 farmers applied for the scheme but many have not followed up with the required lab and paperwork.  Not only has the Minister failed to meet his own target of 35,000 farmers on board with the scheme, those who have applied are being turned off because of the large volume of paperwork and specimen requirements. “It is quite obvious from this data that there are still a lot of farmers who are very sceptical about the scheme and are particularly concerned about possible penalties in years to come.  A budget of €300m has been allocated for the programme over the next six years; however, this information would indicate that less than €10m will be spent on the scheme this year. “Minister Coveney needs to seriously re-evaluate the programme.  It is not working in its current form.  Targets are already being missed and farmers are not being incentivised to take part in it.  These figures should act as a wake-up call for the Minister.  I am urging him to undertake a review of the scheme in order to get more farmers to participate and to ensure that it is... read more

Minister fails to get to grips with Aquaculture licences – Ó Cuív

3rd November 2015 Fianna Fáil Agriculture Spokesperson Éamon Ó Cuív has accused Minister Simon Coveney of having completely failing to deal with the issue of Aquaculture Licences during his time in office. According to the latest information supplied to Deputy Ó Cuív by the Department, the number of shellfish licences awaiting decision has risen by over 10% over the past five years. Deputy Ó Cuív commented, “After almost five years in office only 302 out of 408 applications for shellfish licences have been processed. There are now 61 fin fish licences awaiting decision, almost double the number that was outstanding when Minister Coveney arrived into the Department.  Thirty four finfish aquaculture applications have been lodged since then, but only 5 decisions have been made. “It is time for the Minister to start making decisions and to stop putting this matter on the long finger. He recently announced that he has undertaken to commission a review of the existing aquaculture licensing system.  He has promised that this will include all of the stakeholders involved, and will identify the current shortcomings and bottlenecks (legislative, resource and logistical) so that the necessary changes can be made as a matter of priority. “I have been pressing the Minister for three years to do this.  The fact that he is only initiating this review months before a General Election speaks volumes about the importance he attaches to this issue. I want to see a transparent, open and efficient applications and assessment process put in place so that licences can be granted or refused in a timely manner and to ensure that the huge delays... read more


We welcome the input of party members & the public alike in commemorating the Easter Rising 1916 #Respect1916 — Éamon Ó Cuív (@eamonocuiv) February 14,... read more

Government must prioritise implementation of new EU financial credit fund to Irish farmers – FF

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Agriculture & Food Éamon Ó Cuív TD has called on the Government to move swiftly to ensure that Irish farmers are given access to a new credit line, which has been announced by the European Commission and the European Investment Bank. The EU financial credit mechanism aims to help ease access to finance for farmers and other rural businesses in EU member states. Deputy Ó Cuív commented, “We welcome any initiative at European level that will help Irish farmers secure an increased credit line. The government must immediately prioritise the implementation of this new EU financial instrument so that farmers across the country can draw down these funds. “It is vital that this funding source is used for new investments to generate jobs and growth in the Irish rural economy in the years ahead. The fund has the potential to regenerate the agriculture industry by encouraging young people back into the sector. It can also be used to help finance rural start-ups and agri-enterprises, which are vitally needed in the economic recovery of the rural Ireland. “Over the past four years, Fine Gael and Labour have set about dismantling a wide range of programmes and initiatives in rural Ireland, which had been established by the previous administration. It is now more important than ever that this new EU funding model is urgently implemented to help ease access to finance for Irish farmers and rural entrepreneurs, in order to grow employment in the... read more

Efforts to undermine viability of rural Ireland continues unabated

Fianna Fáil TD for Galway West Éamon Ó Cuív has accused An Taisce and the Government of continuing to undermine the entire viability rural Ireland. He made the comments in response to the latest report from the heritage agency, which wants to stop the development of one-off housing and force families to move to villages and towns, rather than allowing them to settle in rural locations. Deputy Ó Cuív commented, “Time and again An Taisce has tried to ride roughshod over the people of rural Ireland, in townlands and communities outside of towns and villages, with policies which are geared towards forced migration. “The agency has been persistent in its lobbying of the Department of the Environment, Community & Local Government, consistently putting forward plans which enforce specific settlement plans on rural communities. These “visions” serve only to dismantle rural living by limiting the ability of children to settle on the same land as their parents and making it more expensive to provide services to rural communities. The organisation is trying to force people into towns and villages rather than allowing them stay in their own areas. “An Taisce claims that rural Ireland is a critical resource for the post-carbon world, but at the same time it is completely undermining the point as it sets about dismantling communities, culture and sports clubs, leaving an ageing population with no supports for future generations. “Rural Ireland must take a stand and refuse to accept autocratic decisions which are destroying some of the best voluntary organisations in the country. An Taisce’s spatial planning strategy has only served to exacerbate problems in our... read more

Government’s termination of essential programme threatens future of Inishbofin island

Fianna Fáil TD for Galway West Éamon Ó Cuív has accused the Government of threatening the future of Inishbofin island through a lack of investment and development. He made the comments ahead of the termination of the Local Government Development Programme, which will be wound up at the end of the year. The programme provides core funding for essential services on non-Gaeltacht islands. Deputy Ó Cuív commented, “The removal of this important scheme could have a potentially devastating impact on the lives of islanders. Vital services for young people, parents, the elderly and the unemployed will be threatened, essential facilities will be put at risk; and community buildings and grounds will fall into disrepair. Life on the islands as we know it will drastically change, and will see islanders effectively being left to fend for themselves. “The Government’s attitude towards the islands is completely unacceptable. Instead of nurturing and promoting island life, the Government is long fingering the decision on a programme which provides the core funding to projects that keep island life viable. The importance of our islands cannot be underestimated; they offer an additional cultural, heritage and artistic dimension to the country, as well as providing a major tourism boost. It is ironic that despite being an island nation our Government chooses to treat its own islands with disdain. “The needs of islanders differ greatly to those of people on the mainland, and these communities need to be properly resourced and financed. The Island Development Programme must be re-instated to ensure that front line services can continue to be delivered. Multi annual funding is essential to ensure... read more
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