October 5, 2021
MEP MacManus visits sustainable farming project in Roscommon

MEP MacManus visits sustainable farming project in Roscommon

Sinn Féin MEP, Chris MacManus, visited Farming Rathcroghan Project in county Roscommon, last week. The project was awarded funding by the Department of Agriculture, as part of the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) scheme. Its aim is to promote the continuation of farming in the Rathcroghan area by providing guidance and economic support for farmers to maintain and enhance the archaeological landscape, while providing co-benefits for a range of services – including biodiversity, carbon sequestration and water quality.

EIPs are funded under the Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Programme, which means some of that money is originating in the EU’s agricultural budget.

MEP MacManus commented:

“Rathcroghan is a perfect example of embracing our rich landscape, rather than trying to flatten or extract its wealth for short-term gain. The Rathcroghan landscape consists of over 240 archaeological sites, 60 of which are recorded as National Monuments. To some landowners the presence of such sites may be viewed as a burden, but at Rathcroghan amazing work is taking place to manage the farming landscape in a sustainable way, with a focus on the delivery of good archaeological condition.”

“The project will achieve its objective, firstly, by developing innovative management solutions to sustain the area as a viable farming landscape, in harmony with its rich cultural and ecological assets.”

“Secondly, by implementing best farming and archaeological practice to monitor, manage, and enhance the ancient cultural landscape in an environmentally friendly way. Thirdly by providing archaeology expertise locally to support the pro-active management of the archaeological landscape by the resident Rathcroghan farming community.”

“Such cultural sites are not unique to Rathcroghan, indeed, Ireland has a vast array of archaeologically significant structures. Farmers, as the custodians of our landscape, should be trained to preserve our heritage, and would hopefully reap a benefit from any resulting tourism to the area.”

MacManus concluded by pledging his assistance to similar projects. “I intend to visit a number of EIPs in my constituency, to see first-hand how the EU’s agricultural budget is contributing to sustainable agriculture and biodiversity protection in Ireland. Sinn Féin firmly believes that such community-based initiatives are our best tool in delivering a prosperous and sustainable future for our island.” ENDS

 

(L-R): Cllr Michael Mulligan, Andrew Freeman (Rathcroghan farmer), Petra Koch Appelgren (Rathcroghan EIP Project Manager), Chris MacManus MEP and Tommy Farrell (Rathcroghan farmer) on Andrew Freeman’s farm.

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