The Teagasc Hill Sheep Conference is to be held in the Westlodge Hotel, Bantry, Co. Cork on the 22nd January. It is a STAP approved National event. The programme is very interesting and should be of value to anyone with an interest in Hill Sheep farming. Of particular relevance to commonages is the attendance at the conference of Mr Liam Fahey from the Dept. of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. Mr Fahey has played a central role in highlighting the potential problems that may face the eligibility of commonage lands for direct payments in the future. He is also likely to have a key part to play in the development of a strategy to ensure that commonage land is brought back into GAEC and that future payments can be guaranteed.
I hope that he will be in a position to announce the start of the engagement process with commonage stakeholders at this conference as time to develop an agreed approach is rapidly running out. The operating programmes for the next RDP will be agreed with the EU Commission by the end of the summer. If a workable commonage solution is not in place by then it will be too late. This solution will not fall into place overnight and if there is to be any chance of success it must start this month.
You can download the flyer for this event from the following link.