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IFA National Hill Farming Committee Chairman Flor McCarthy has welcomed the announcement today by the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring of 10 new walkways involving 238 farmers.

He said the addition of the routes in the National Walks Scheme will increase recreational tourism in peripheral areas.

“We want to see local development companies came forward with a further 30 walkways, to ensure that the extra €2m provided is fully utilised.”

IFA has consistently pointed out the value of this scheme, not just for farmers, but also to the wider rural community and economy.

He concluded by saying that some of the lands included would be considered marginal land and any opportunity to boost farm incomes is welcome.

IFA President Joe Healy said the Department of Agriculture CAP analysis published today does not show the full impact of the CAP proposals as it omits the impact of the €97m per annum cut which is part of the current EU Commission proposal. This amounts to €678m for the seven years of the CAP programme, before the impact of inflation.

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Following confirmation that applications worth less than €80m have been received for the €100m Beef Exceptional Aid Measure (BEAM), IFA President Joe Healy said Minister Creed has to revise the conditions of the scheme and re-open it.

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Following a protest today at the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht today, Minister Josepha Madigan has agreed to meet IFA next week.

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IFA National Livestock Chairman Angus Woods said following a request from the IFA, the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed has made a necessary extension to the closing date for the BEAM scheme, to Sunday September 15th.

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