Farm Family Reports

Farm Family Council Report February 2024

  1. Activity since last National Council 

The following updates relate to Farm Safety

  • There have been 1 farm fatalities officially recorded by HSA to date. To keep up to date on farm fatalities click here
  • As Spring calving season and slurry season is in full swing, IFA created a February Farm Safety Focus poster to emphasise the importance of being safety conscious around this time (see enclosed). 
  • Regulations governing the safe use of ATV/Quad Bikes in all workplaces (SI 619/2021) came into effect on 20 November 2023.  
  • These regulations have 2 essential requirements of note:  
  • Training to be undertaken with a registered training provider to a QQI standard or equivalent.  
  • Use of helmets to a prescribed standard. 
  • IFA issued a press release on the importance of safety while using Cubicle Lime  
  • Wear a pair of safety goggles and a face mask when spreading it to avoid lime getting into your eyes and inhaling it.  
  • Milking gloves will protect your hands and help avoid the lime coming into contact with your skin.  
  • Use a scoop or a handheld container to lime the cubicles. 
  • The following updates relate to Health: 
  • ‘Farmers Have Hearts’ programme, supported by the HSE, provides FREE one-to-one health checks in marts across the country. Consultations begin at 9.30am and finish at 4.30pm. 
  • Carlow Mart, Co Carlow – February 12th  
  • Kilcullen Mart, Co Kildare – February 21st
  • IFA attended Cultivating Mental Health in Rural Ireland Conference, opened by Minister Martin Hayden to mark international men’s day. It helped equip professionals working with farmers to engage them on the challenges of mental health and well-being and the support available to them. 
  • IFA attended a hybrid European Policy Seminar on the Mental Health and Wellbeing of farmers which took place in the European Parliament in Brussels. Guest speakers included: MEP Maria Walsh, Minister Martin Hayden, John Keane. 
  • Ministers for Health announced additional investment of €10 million to support the development and implementation of core mental health services. 
  • Minister for Mental Health and Older People announced €10 million of additional supports for private and voluntary nursing homes. 

The scheme aims to support private and voluntary nursing homes to improve infection prevention and fire safety.  

Up to €25,000 will be available to each qualifying nursing home for structural works to improve compliance with Regulation 27 (Protection against infection) and/or Regulation 28 (Fire precautions) of S.I. No. 415/2013, Health Act 2007 (Care and Welfare of Residents in Designated Centres for Older People) Regulations 2013 (as amended). 

The scheme commenced on 1 January 2024 and the closing date for applications is 15 November 2024. 

  • The following updates relate to Social Affairs: 
  • Minister for Mental Health and Older People Mary Butler has announced plans to amend the Nursing Homes Support Scheme to broaden the definition of who could act as the family successor, to improve the viability and sustainability of family farms and businesses. 

Under the 3-year Cap this would expand those eligible to act as family successor to cousins, great-nephews and great-nieces, and great-grandchildren of either the resident or their partner

  • From 1st February 2024, if you are in nursing home care supported by the Fair Deal scheme, you can apply to have your rental income from your home not included in the financial assessment towards the cost of your nursing home care. 
  • The Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys TD, has announced a new scheme to improve access to the State Pension (Contributory) for long-term carers (those caring for over 20 years for incapacitated dependents). 
  • Under this scheme, any period in which a carer is registered as providing care to a person who has a disability that requires full-time care and attention, can be included in their pay-related social insurance (PRSI) record for State Pension (Contributory) purposes. 
  • A minimum of 20 years Long-Term Carers contributions are required. 
  • The quickest way to apply for a Long-Term Carers Contribution is online at 
  1. Any EU/COPA Developments: 
  • IFA attended the Women Innovation Awards in Brussels. The 7th edition of Copa Cogeca Innovation awards for women farmers. The main theme of the award was ‘Women at the forefront of sustainable rural areas. Ireland had wonderful support of many Irish representatives at the awards ceremony in EU Parliament 
  • IFA attended COPA COGECA Women’s Committee meeting in Brussels. Election of new Chair and Vice Chair took place. (Chair – Franchesca, Italy, Vice Chairs Poland & Netherlands). IFA Advocated and highlighted the need for social security for females with further access to low-cost loans. 
  • The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development (DG AGRI) and the EU CAP Network support unit for Innovation and Knowledge exchange | EIP-AGRI are organising the EU CAP Network workshop ‘Women-led innovations in agriculture and rural areas. The workshop will take place on Wednesday 17 and Thursday 18 April 2024 in Krakow, Poland. 
  1. Upcoming Issues: 
  • IFA Farm Family and Social Affairs Committee will meet on the 1st May 2024.

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