A new milk processing plant could give a huge boost to the south-east of the country creating over 2,000 jobs in spin-off industries.
And now the rub
the plant will only employ 76 people when it opens in two years’ time,
And now a bit of pure speculation
both the Government and the company claim it could spur about 1,000 extra farm jobs and another 600 local jobs as a knock-on effect of its construction.
There will also be 450 construction roles as the factory is built.
Glanbia said the plant will contribute around €400m a year to the local economy.
And now a bit of PR nonsense
Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney hailed the news as “the biggest jobs announcement” of the year.
He also rejected concerns that the mooted 1,600 jobs may not end up being created.
“Anyone who questions that does not understand the agriculture sector. These numbers are based on reliable economic models and they are conservative figures. Now I just begin to wonder how much the minister really knows about agriculture. By bet is he is far more familiar with the word spin …
“These are real, Irish jobs. They cannot be moved overseas,” he claimed…. but they might well be invisible
Glanbia is building the plant to deal with a huge increase in the amount of milk its suppliers will produce when EU caps on milk production are removed in 2015.
Almost all of the milk will be exported to Asia, Africa and South America. Most of it will be sold as dry milk powder which can be used for infant milk formula, cheese and nutritional products.
What we are not told
No figures seem to emerge from this PR splurge as to how much Glanbia received in grants
After construction my bet is we will be lucky to see 200 jobs in total
“The big question of course is who knew about the trade in Irish horses on false passports, and when” BBC Spotlight on the horse meat scandal broadcast 5th March 2013
On 5th March 2013, the BBC in Northern Ireland broadcast a Spotlight special on the horse meat scandal in which the horse meat trade in (the Republic of) Ireland was scrutinized. You can watch the 40-minute special in three parts on YouTube here(see below). This edition of Spotlight reminded me of the special last year on the Sean Quinn international property dealings – crisp, information-rich, simply and engagingly presented; it is the best TV coverage so far on the horse meat scandal in the (Republic of) Ireland that I have seen.
The programme reported that 24,637 horses had been slaughtered in Ireland in 2012, and that this was far more than in the 9,405 in the entire UK. It reported the mark-ups, that traders were buying a lorryload of horses for GBP 1,000 and selling it for GBP 5,000.
“In the Republic, we also know of one approach to the Department of Agriculture which had hard evidence of wrong-doing, in fact that approach was made by our insider” BBC Spotlight
It also uncovered allegations that our own Department of Agriculture had been told about concerns about Irish horses with false passports, and the “insider” on which the programme relied, alleged he was told by the Department to “let the mess clean itself up”, presumably meaning that eventually the supply of horses would dry up, and meanwhile no-one would be any the wiser having already consumed horse meat. A separate Irish whistleblower had written to the UK authorities last year with allegations about false passports and Ossory Meats, and the UK authorities say that it is standard practice for such allegations to be shared with the Irish authorities.
The programme uncovered evidence of passports being switched, with a risk being that medicine-contaminated or unhealthy horses were being presented at slaughterhouses with bogus passports, as if they were fit for human consumption. Ossory Meats in Banagher, county Offaly threatened a Midlands horse sanctuary with libel proceedings for suggesting that a horse was switched by their company for one which is still alive today.
Jennifer O’Leary who presented the special, reported that our own agriculture minister, Simon Coveney was contacted for comment, as was his Department, but none was forthcoming with the Minister too busy and his Department unable to comment on ongoing investigations. The Department did claim that it was not informed about the second whistleblowing about Ossory Meats to the UK authorities.
The programme reported that in the instance of their informer, it was four years ago that the horse meat scandal started. That criminals were forging passports and inserting microchips on an “industrial scale”. PhenylButazone or “Bute” and another steroid Cortizone were routinely given to the horses.
How did the BBC verify the claims? They visited a site where the insider said horses died if they were too sick for export or transports, the BBC found horse remains. The Ulster Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals reporting that one horsetrader named by the insider had been found with 40 forged Irish horse transports and box of microchips. One horsetrader, against whom the insider made allegations, was arrested transporting horses and also cannabis.
In the Dail this week, the Sinn Fein finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty asked Minister Coveney about the programme, and the parliamentary questions are shown below. Yesterday, the Department published a report in which it said that it was two months ago, 14th January 2013 that it learned of the horse DNA scandal. The press release is here and the report is here.
So, on the face of it, we have a scandal that is at least four years old, we have criminals making huge sums of money from the trade in horses on false passports, with chipping and false passports used on an “industrial scale”, we have the horses routinely provided with bute and Cortizone and evidence of passport switching. We have allegations that the Department of Agriculture knew about the issues some time ago, but the Department refuses to comment. According to the Department of Agriculture report yesterday “On Friday 8 th March, the Department carried out identification checks on horses presented for slaughter at Ossory Meats. In respect of the horses presented, 25 of them had irregularities, these irregularities related to passport and microchip identifiers. In some cases, while the microchip in the equine matched the passport, the marking on the horse and the passports were very different. In other cases horses presented as yearlings were in fact much older. These animals were humanely slaughtered and destroyed. The company has since been suspended from operations.”
The BBC programme looked at just one angle to the horse meat scandal – the initial slaughtering of horses – it didn’t examine how horses then got into the human food chain. But its examination of how loose the systems are at the horse slaughter end of the chain will only exacerbate the worry that things were just as bad at the food-labelling and beef processing plant part of the chain later on. And perhaps now, that the Department of Agriculture has concluded its investigation, it might find time to comment on what it knew and when.
Stills above are screengrabs from the BBC Spotlight programme.
Deputy Pearse Doherty: To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine further to the broadcast of a BBC Spotlight programme on 5 March 2013 on the horse meat scandal, if he will confirm that his Department responded to an approach two years ago which raised concerns about Irish horses and the food chain; and if the approach was responded to by his Department with a statement “the mess will clean itself”
Deputy Pearse Doherty: To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine further to the broadcast of a BBC Spotlight programme on 5 March 2013 on the horse meat scandal, if he can confirm that he was requested to provide a comment to the programme makers but responded that he was too busy; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Deputy Pearse Doherty: To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine further to the broadcast of a BBC Spotlight programme on 5March 2013 on the horse meat scandal, if he will confirm that information was provided to his Department two years ago which raised concerns about Irish horses and the food chain; and if so, the way in which his Department responded to those concerns.
Deputy Pearse Doherty: To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine further to the broadcast of a BBC Spotlight programme on 5 March 2013 on the horse meat scandal, if he proposes to investigate the claims made in the programme regarding passports for low weight and less valuable horses to the meat trade being switched for higher weight and more valuable horses to the meat trade.
Deputy Pearse Doherty: To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine further to the broadcast of a BBC Spotlight programme on 5th March 2013 on the horse meat scandal, if he will confirm the number of horses slaughtered in the State in 2012, and if he will quantify the way the slaughtered animals were subsequently processed.
Deputy Pearse Doherty: To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine further to the broadcast of a BBC Spotlight programme on 5 March 2013 on the horse meat scandal, if he will confirm that he is satisfied with the operation of Ossory Meats in Banagher County Offaly; and if any of the concerns raised in the programme will be investigated by his Department.
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney: I propose to take questions 13081/13, 13082/13, 13083/13, 13084/13, 13085/13 and 13086/13 together.
11,402 horses were slaughtered in slaughter plants approved by my Department in 2012. The Food Safety Authority of Ireland has advised that 12,960 horses were slaughtered in local authority approved slaughter plants in 2012. I understand that the bulk of the meat from these animals was exported for human consumption, some following further processing in approved cutting plants in Ireland. The remainder was exported as full carcasses. The main export markets are Belgium, France and Italy.
Under EU law, responsibility for compliance with food safety and traceability requirements rests in the first instance with food business operators (FBOs). This is augmented by official controls, applied at different stages in the food supply chain. My Department implements official controls in relation to horse identification at marts and other sales venues, in abattoirs under its supervision and at points of entry to the country.
All equines (which include horses, ponies and donkeys) are required to be identified in accordance with EU and national legislation. Equines issued with a passport after 1 July 2009 must have a corresponding microchip implanted by a veterinarian, which is recorded in the passport and creates a link between the passport and the animal. The passport includes information on any veterinary medicines administered to equines. An equine for slaughter for human consumption must be accompanied to the slaughterhouse by its passport and the information on the passport determines whether the animal can be slaughtered for human consumption. Horses treated with certain veterinary medicines such as phenylbutazone, known in the industry as ‘bute’, are permanently excluded from the human food chain in order to protect public health and the passport of the horse in question is endorsed by the prescribing veterinary practitioner to this effect.
My Department has detailed procedures for the slaughter of horses in abattoirs under its supervision and has communicated these and the checks required both to its staff and the business operators. It has liaised with passport issuing agencies in Ireland and has developed protocols to allow abattoir operators to check the details of passports with these agencies to seek to ensure that they are valid and that only those horses eligible for slaughter are slaughtered. Where forged or tampered passports accompanying horses to slaughter are detected, it is the policy that such animals are destroyed and removed from the food chain.
Ongoing vigilance is maintained in relation to official controls in this area. In that connection, the European Communities (Equine) (Amendment) Regulations, S.I. No. 371/2012, introduced recently, provide for the updating of S.I. No. 357/2011 (European Communities (Equine) Regulations 2011) to strengthen the powers of the Minister in relation to approval of an issuing body for equine passports, authorised officers and prosecutions in relation to equine identification.
My Department is establishing a centralized equine database. The intention is that this database will be used at abattoirs to assist in verifying the authenticity of horse passports for the equine presented and to record its date of slaughter.
I can confirm that my Department has received a number of complaints in this area, some of which have been non-specific in nature. Information received in relation to alleged illegal activities in this State is taken seriously and investigated as appropriate by my Department and in certain cases by the Gardai. There is ongoing contact in this regard between the Department and the authorities in Northern Ireland and Britain. It must also be noted however that some claims have been made in the public domain in relation to this issue which, when examined by my Department, did not stand up to close scrutiny or warrant further investigation.
While my Department does not comment on ongoing investigations, appropriate corrective action is taken if non-compliances are detected. I can advise that during 2011-2012 the Department issued Compliance Notices to two horse slaughter plants under its supervision. This led to temporary suspension of activities while corrective measures were put in place. In addition the approvals of one organisation to maintain a stud book and issue horse passports were revoked during 2012.
With regard specifically to the BBC Spotlight programme on 5th March, it would not be appropriate for me to comment publicly on allegations made. I was not available for interview for this particular programme because of other commitments but I can advise that my Department did comment on queries received from the programme makers. I understand that some of the allegations made in this programme relate to activities outside the State, in which case appropriate checks would be a matter for authorities in the jurisdictions concerned. I understand issues were also raised in relation to an equine slaughter plant in this jurisdiction, which at the time concerned was under the supervision of a local authority. At present there are two local authority supervised equine slaughter plants in operation – one in Co. Offaly and one in Co. Limerick. I have decided to take both these plants under the supervision of my Department.
via NAMA Wine Lake | Click the green link above for latest news and over 2,400 related articles. NAMA – National Asset Management Agency – part of Ireland’s response to its banking crisis and property bubble.
via NAMA Wine Lake | Click the green link above for latest news and over 2,400 related articles. NAMA – National Asset Management Agency – part of Ireland’s response to its banking crisis and property bubble.
The Government advised today that it has come to light that Fish Fingers contain no fingers.
The minister stated that his department had looked at many photos of fish and that they have yet to find a fish with fingers.
He then rather oddly stated this investigation had been on going for a number of years and that the total cost for the investigation came up just short of a hundred million. Due to the fact that the figure was under the hundred million mark the Minister felt the taxpayer had got good value for money.
Anglers and environmentalists have called on the Minister for the Marine Simon Coveney to intervene to prevent the establishment of a number of major salmon farm projects at various locations off the Irish coast.
About 200 campaigners from as far away as Donegal, Fermanagh and Galway as well as from Cork, Kerry and Tipperary converged in Carrigaline in Co Cork on Saturday, from where they marched to Mr Coveney’s constituency office and handed in a letter of protest.
Mr Coveney was not at the office at the time, but the protesters held a rally where speakers urged him to heed warnings that further salmon farms at sea would lead to an increase in sea lice and damage wild Atlantic salmon stocks.
Bord Iascaigh Mhara has applied for a licence for a €60 million deep-sea salmon farm on a 500 hectare site in the lee of Inis Oírr, the most southerly of the Aran Islands, with the promise of creating 500 jobs in the area.
Separately, Norwegian owned company Marine Harvest Island is proposing a €3.5 million salmon farm for Shot Head off Adrigole in Bantry Bay in west Cork as part of a €14 million investment in its 16 aquaculture sites in Irish waters.
The Perpetual Ghost: Yawns, and mentally says here we go again. As he waits for the speeches to begin he notes that the cream of the opposition is made up by Independents and that the main opposition parties are but a shadow of themselves –he mentally chuckles
An Ceann Comhairle: I call Deputy Ó Cuív, who has six minutes.
Deputy Eamon Ó Cuív: I get an extra bonus late at night.
An Ceann Comhairle: That is because you are a good boy.
Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív: That is right. I try to be good every day.
My understanding is that we have approximately 4% of the fish available to us but 14% of the waters. The Minister maintains we get 15% of the fish caught and we have 14% of the waters.
Deputy Simon Coveney: That is in Irish waters.
Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív: I suggest that of the total European catch of fish, it is 4%.
Deputy Simon Coveney: Yes.
Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív: This means we are getting one quarter of our entitlement from the Common Fisheries Policy
The Perpetual Ghost: laughs and mentally communicates with the national audience of ghosts. A chorus of silent laughter echoes through the chamber “Boys everyone knows fisheries were sacrificed for farm subsidies”
Deputy Thomas Pringle: They have taken €500 billion from the seas around our coast in the intervening period and have left us with the scraps. One million tonnes of fish are taken from our waters every year out of which we take 170,000 tonnes.
Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett: It is a crime for an island country such as ours that the fishing industry is teetering on the brink of extinction. Our so-called partners are supposedly helping us but in fact they are burying us in the interests of big financial and corporate interests in Europe.
The Perpetual Ghost: This will be fun. The ace hypocrite will now speak.
(The PG is a Ghost who recalls the past in totality and can foresee the future)
Deputy Mick Wallace: We are depleting the oceans.
It reminds me of a saying by a Cree native North American tribe that only when the last tree has died, the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realise we cannot eat money.
The Perpetual Ghost: Observes the sayings of Wallace and allows himself a morally haughty smirk as he blows rings of ether with the words “Cowboy” dangling in the centre of the circle
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Deputy Simon Coveney)
I will try to respond to that profound comment at the end. Some of the commentary here has been inaccurate. The Irish fishing industry is not dying on its feet. Last year Irish fishing industry exports grew by 15%. T We also had some extremely wealthy people in the Irish fishing industry, in the pelagic sector in particular where there are 23 boats.
Deputy Martin Ferris: The Minister should compare the fleet size now and ten years ago.
Deputy Simon Coveney: The capacity for catch is just as high now. That said, I am not happy with the state of the industry.
I thank the Deputies for their frankness in contributing to the debate this evening. I certainly got a strong message from them and that will impact on the Government’s thinking.
The Perpetual Ghost: mutters the word Impact and laughs, oh my God government thinking, nonexistent, more thought emanates from the government crèche
The ghost knows that within the next year the only progress visible is fish dumped on the quayside of local fishing ports.
and how right he is.
UP to 15,000 farmers have marched through Dublin demanding that the Government take a hard line in negotiations on the next round of European subsidies.
John Bryan, IFA president, said failure to return the €1.6 billion package would be bad for the industry and undermine the viability of the most productive farmers.
“The next two months will see decisions taken in Brussels and by our Government that will have a huge bearing on the ability of the sector to survive and grow. Farming can help deliver recovery and jobs but only with the right policies and supports,” he said.
“Farm output will drop and the raw material for our ambitious growth plans will not be available if the EU Commission gets its way.”
A convoy of farming vehicles and tractors drove down Kildare Street as thousands of farmers flooded the narrow street.
A Garda spokesman estimated that around 15,000 people took part in the march, along with about six tractors, a combine harvester, a dairy truck and large digger.
“The weather this year was so bad so a lot of us really suffered during the harvest. The Government can’t guarantee us good weather, but it can guarantee us our payments,” said Mr Byrne.
Mary Mullane, who runs a family farm in Newcastle West, Co Limerick, said rocketing prices in diesel, grain, meal and silage have had a knock-on effect on farmers, meaning they need their subsidies more than ever.
“It’s like a house of cards: if one thing goes, the rest can collapse,” she said.
Mr Bryan, who met Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney, defended the right to demonstrate from criticism by small numbers of farmers on online forums and in contributions to radio programmes.
“Like all other working families, farmers have also had to find the money to pay significantly higher taxes and charges. Today farm families are saying, ‘enough is enough’,” he said.
Mr Coveney said he understands why the thousands of farmers are taking to the streets.
In an astonishing announcement, Simon Slovenly the Minister of Muck and Water confirmed Ireland to be the lost Island of Atlantis and the Hill of Tara to be its legendary missing city. In a preamble on a special newscast to the Nation last night, he explained to his audience that his name “Simon” was of Hebrew origin. He elucidated his Christian name literally means “To Be Heard.” He, therefore, felt it was appropriate that he be the bearer of such sensational news. The work leading up to these revelations was carried out in the greatest of secrecy by members his department in conjunction with various lesser government departments, which were of little concern to him. However, the moment of revelation according to the Minister occurred at sea whilst awaiting a delivery of a consignment of giggle weed to his yacht. He believes the great God Enki came to him in a dream and told him to excavate Tara and that once finished Ireland would see prosperity return. Enki made one stipulation, and that was for the hill to be ring fenced by a network of vast roads.
He said we now have conclusive proof that Ireland is the lost Island of Atlantis. He also believes Tara to be the home of the supernatural blue stones of the Spirit Enki the opener of Star gates and bringer of enlightenment. He felt the department of Mythical lands would very shortly be able to verify the whereabouts of the stones. Archaeologists have also unearthed strong evidence to suggest that Tara is the final resting place of the Arc of the Covenant. All that stands in the way of the recovery of these treasures are the guardians of the tombs the feared Tuatha De Danaan. A team of elite Israeli negotiators specially trained in dealing with mythical beans led by Ari Flatus will shortly arrive in Ireland to help resolve the matter.
We as nation sincerely hope these stones before long will see the light of day. As of now, the government is leading its people through a Dark Age and the need for enlightenment is a perquisite to the future development of the nation.
The Minister went on to blame English shock troops acting on behalf of Rome for the demise of Tara. Following the invasion, English priests subsequently proceeded to obliterate Tara out of the History books. In addition, they then sent their agent the Welsh wizard Saint Patrick to Ireland to burn all historical records, writings, and teachings of the ancient Irish. Although the flame of the old culture waned at times, the Holy Writ of the past remained embedded in the hearts of the people. The role of St. Patrick in Irish history will need revision after these revelations. Just imagine a book burner a destroyer of culture and heritage up to the present day looked upon as the national emblem of Irishness.
The developments at the Hill of Tara will have far-ranging implications on the religious and political front not just in Ireland but right across the universe.
Merkel Opposed to Lowering Irish Costs
Mrs. Merkel has spelt out in unambiguous terms; she’s opposed to any agreement that would lower the cost of the €64bn Irish bank bailout. I wonder why but then she must look after those stupid German banks that lent the money to Anglo.
The opposition FF/SF
I understand FF reluctance to be too vocal after all FG is only implementing agreed FF bailout terms. However, one must ask questions of Sinn Fein. Their record of accomplishment in opposition appears to be negligible.
It looks like we are down to three individuals who genuinely represent the people. To Thomas Pringle, Richard Boyd Barrett and Luke “Ming” Flanagan I say Lads keep the flag flying for you are only hope
Following a devastating summer for agriculture, Leitrim County Council is writing to the Minister for Agriculture, Mr. Simon Coveney, TD to bring forward the payments to farmers immediately due to the severe weather conditions. Councillors please note the Minister is at sea and has been since he assumed office, address unknown.
The Minister of Health Dr. Reilly Excited by new findings
The dept of health have noted findings by Case Western University highlighting the fact that scientists have invented a method to induce memories in brains, which means total recall is now here. This development has given the minister cause for optimism for he believes if they can do this it should be no problem to have a forgetfulness memory implant.
The department of health is considering a twenty-year implant for all citizens free of charge. It looks like memory wise this is the end of the bad times.
Rotten Island Ministerial Reports
The Minister for Muck and Water Squire Slovenly has noted that the fields of Rotten Island have become full of grass. and as result of this phenomenon he has advised all animals and livestock living in these regions to head for the safety of the towns and villages…he went on to state as long as this emergency lasted these unfortunates would be given immunity from would be poachers and speculators… The punishment for wrongdoing would be severe
He outline penalties as follows,
(1)To be confined to a no smoking zone for 6 months.
(2)A ban from driving for one year provided he/she did not hold a current license, if you held a license the matter of course was subject to monetary negotiation.
(3)People on the dole, would have their money suspended but in lieu of this, they would receive 50 blank sheets of photographed Anglo Rotten bank, bondholder’s notes plus a Chinese counterfeit lollipop for each of your offspring.
The Minister stated their was a lot of shite attached to this job and that he was nobodys pussycat
TAOISEACH Enda Kenny has played down reports of a rift within the coalition and said the “silly season” is now over.
His comments came as he entered the first cabinet meeting since the summer break and as Sinn Fein and Fianna Fail called for a motion of no confidence in Health Minister James Reillyover proposed cuts in his department.
Speaking as he arrived at Government Buildings, the Fine Gaelleader said the Government has to get on with the job of making tough decisions.
He added December’s Budget will be the most challenging in the Government’s period in office.
Earlier, Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney described any talk of division between the Coalition partners as over-blown.