Farm Family Reports

Farm Family Council Report July 2020

Activity since last National Council

  • The National Public Health Emergency Team and Health Protection Surveillance Centre provided the following report on the 1stJuly 2020:
    • A total of 1,738 COVID-19 related deaths in Ireland.
    • A total of 25,477 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland.
    • The COVID-19 Dashboard provides the most up-to-date information on the key indicators of COVID-19 in the community.
  • The following is an update on the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP).
No. of people in receipt PUP(23rd June)No. of people in receipt of PUP (30th June)
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing, Mining & Quarrying6,100 5,700
  • The number of people that closed PUP is as follows:
No. that closed PUP(23rdJune)No. that closed PUP(30th June)
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing, Mining & Quarrying400 300
  • A farmer must close their claim for the PUP payment on the actual date that they start to trade or go back to work. To stop payment you can either contact DEASP Income Support Helpline for COVID-19 on 1890 800 024 or go online by clicking here.
  • The following updates relate to Health and Safety:
    • There have been 14 farm fatalities officially recorded by HSA to date. To keep up to date on farm fatalities click here.
    • IFA is finalising preparing for this year’s Farm Safety Week, which will take place from the 20th to 24th July. The overarching theme for the week will be – It’s Time to Take Safety Seriously.
    • The HSA will be carrying out a second Farm Safety inspection campaign, which will run from 13th July to 24th July to coincide with Farm Safety Week. These will be outdoor inspections respecting social distancing and respecting COVID-19 protocols at all times. The focus of the HSA campaign will be Tractor/Vehicle Safety, particularly as they affect children and the elderly.
    • IFA is sponsoring the #openyoureyestofarmsafety competition, which is an initiative that was developed by a group of students and their teachers at Nenagh CBS in North Tipperary, who have been deeply and personally affected by farm accidents. Click here to watch the video. To enter the competition, answer the five questions that relate to the video correctly to be in with a chance of winning one of ten €500 prizes. To enter the competition, click here.
    • A revised National Mental Health policy, Sharing the Vision – a Mental Health Policy for Everyone for the period 2020-2030 has been launched. For more information click here.
    • A new 24/7 mental health support text line has been launched in the crisis. To avail of the service text HELLO to 50808. 50808 provides a safe space where a person is listened to by a trained Crisis Volunteer. For more information clickhere.
    • IFA has established a Mental Health Working Group to see how the Association can improve the supports and training available for officers, members and staff. Work is ongoing to develop a plan.
    • The Farming Resilience webpage continues to provide practical support to farm families on how to maintain both personal and business resilience.
  • The Department of Health responded “that further progress on the development of the Bill has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The policy team overseeing the Nursing Homes Support Scheme is now focused entirely on responding to the challenges presented by COVID-19 in nursing homes. The response to the COVID-19 pandemic is a national and public health priority at this time”. 
  • There was a Farm Family & Social Affairs committee meeting on 6th June, topics discussed included: farm safety, Fair Deal, mental resilience, Safeguarding Ireland and development of an online directory of services for farm families.

Upcoming issues

  • IFA will be presenting to the National Safeguarding Advisory Committee (NSAC) on 20th July on the main issues for vulnerable people living in rural Ireland.
  • Finalising and implementing the plan for Farm Safety Week (20th to 24th July).
  • Hosting a Management committee meeting.

Farm Safety

Proposed Ban on Lead Ammunition 

  • European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has, at the request of the European Commission (EC), prepared a report proposing a ban on the types of shooting within a wetland or where spent ammunition would land within a wetland.
  • The alternative to lead ammunition is steel ammunition. Steel ammunition when fired puts more pressure on the shotgun than lead, to make sure a shotgun can withstand the higher pressure and the shotgun is safe to use the gun would have to be re-proofed.
  • The EC revised proposal on the lead amunition over wetlands restriction, was discussed with a tentative vote by EU Member States on 23rd June 2020 at EU REACH Committee. The proposal is available here.
  • The written procedure vote started on the 24th  June with a duration of 21 days.

White Tailed Eagle Reintroduction Phase 2 Friday 26th June

  • 10 White Tailed Eagle chicks were imported by NPWS, into Ireland from Norway through Farrenfore Airport on Friday 26th.
  • Release cages have been built in Killarney National Park, Shannon Estuary and Lough Derg to accommodate the chicks.
  • The chicks will be fed in the release cages for approximately 6 to 7 weeks until they are fully fledged and will then be released.

Meeting with An Garda Siochana Wednesday 24th June

Items discussed and IFA’S proposals


  • IFA believes, that there is a legitimate and good reason for having a silencers/moderator in cases where a farmer needs or requires another individual to carry out vermin control.
  • Especially when it comes to the control of foxes, who spread neospora canis in breeding livestock.

Shooting Rights

  • The Commissioner guidelines states “written authorisation from the person entitles to grant the shooting rights must be provided is the Garda Superintendent requests him or her to do so”.
  • As it currently stands, when a farmer allows a Gun Club use his lands they are effectively granting them a “Bare Licence”. This is the lowest level of right that a landowner can grant to an individual to enable them to come on to the land to do a specific task i.e. shooting in this particular case.
  • This licence can generally be revoked on very short notice.  If a landowner was to grant a “shooting right” this is something that in theory should be registered on the folio and indeed could be sold or transferred on to third parties.
  • IFA would like the “written authorisation from the person entitles to grant the shooting rights must be provided is the Garda Superintendent requests him or her to do so” changed to written authorisation from the person entitles to grant the permission must be provided is the Garda Superintendent requests him or her to do so.

The Transportation of Firearms and Ammunition

  • An allowance should be made to include crew cab, van-type jeep vehicles and tractors which are extremely commonly used by farmers and where it is not possible to have a firearm or ammunition immediately accessible to a driver or passenger.
ChairCaroline Farrell
ExecutivesFarm Family – Geraldine O’Sullivan

Farm Safety – William Shortall

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