April 4, 2022
MacManus visits North Connemara Agri-EIP scheme

MacManus visits North Connemara Agri-EIP scheme
This week Sinn Féin MEP Chris MacManus visited the North Connemara Agri-EIP scheme alongside his Sinn Féin colleagues Mairéad Farrell TD and Tom Healy. The scheme is a locally led initiative, funded by the Department of Agriculture through Ireland’s Rural Development Plan and also supported by FORUM Connemara. The scheme integrates local farmers with individuals from the agricultural industry, to tackle the decline of the economic and social viability of farming in this environmentally important area.  Speaking after the visit, MacManus commented:
“I am always pleased to meet groups involved in innovation or ecological transformation in the Agri-sector. Local farmers are working together to engage in important actions like the restoration of biodiversity, improvement of water quality, protection of habitats and increasing the agricultural viability of the plot.”
“Farmers are the custodians of our landscapes and our best placed to help us meet our climate objectives. Sinn Féin fully supports that for this work farmers are fairly remunerated. Under the scheme farms are given a rating and when they make progress and improve this score they are financially rewarded. This reward system is vitally important to not only increase engagement but to also help sustain the local economy.”
MacManus praised the scheme’s social attitude. “I was very heartened to hear the scheme also has a social aspect. Meetings are organised to give farmers a space to meet and discuss agricultural topics. The COVID 19 pandemic left many farmers with little social interaction, over the last two years, and this may have taken its toll on peoples’ mental health. I hope these meetings will help rebuild the social fabric of the community.”
The Midlands Northwest MEP concluded by pledging his party’s ongoing commitment to addressing rural neglect from successive governments. “Sinn Féin is committed to a vision of rural Ireland that is built on more services, more opportunities, including for family farms, and more harmony with nature.” ENDS
Pictured at the EIP Programme Area are (L-R): Eanna Walsh (agricultural student), Sinead Grimes (FORUM Connemara), Joseph Mannion (Head of EIP scheme), Chris MacManus MEP, Mairéad Farrell TD and Tom Healy


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