EDITOR – On those occasions when I find my travels in the country interrupted and held up by a tractor and farm attachment, I ease off the throttle, settle back and remind myself of how fortunate I am to have a foothold in the country where farmers live, where cattle graze in fields, where food of the very highest quality is produced.
Reading your very readable West Cork Farming magazine, these thoughts came flooding back, enhanced by the exposure you gave to the social aspects of farming and the opportunities they provide for young and old to meet, and by my own awareness of the charitable contributions that farmers make through threshing events, etc.
However, reading articles by your writers Emma Connolly (regarding TB and her interview with the Carbery ceo) and Tommy Moyles’ derogation article, I reminded myself of how farmers and their numerous farming organisations have failed to inform city dwellers on the issues that confront them, the EU nitrates directive being the latest example.
To the extent that I also have a foothold in the city, I can say with confidence that few city dwellers have the slightest notion of nitrates directives, derogations, problems relating to tree felling licences, milk quotas, slurry spreading, and the countless other issues that affect the daily lives of farmers.
To the average Dubliner, focused on cycle lanes, speed bumps, pedestrian zones and other green creations, I suggest that farmers are thought of only as the people who come up from the country to block up city traffic every time they wish to publicise their cause and demonstrate their discontent.
Urban folk, whether in cities or towns, constitute a massive lobby. For that reason, isn’t it time that farming bodies and their cheerleaders (banks, credit unions, machinery dealers, co-ops, etc) devoted even more creative time and money to the task of bridging that gap of understanding that I believe exists between city and countryside?
Motivate them so that, when the cheer goes up for whatever farming cause is current, the sound of protest or support will be even more deafening that it usually is.
We should be showing our lungs some love
EDITOR – With World Lung Day coming up on Monday September 25th, the Irish Thoracic Society is urging your readers to Show Your Lungs Some Love and commit to undertaking five actions to safeguard your lung health.
Lung disease incorporates a wide range of respiratory illnesses, with the most prominent being asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and lung cancer, but also includes sleep apnoea, cystic fibrosis, lung fibrosis, tuberculosis and Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency.
Indeed, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death here, while we have one of the highest asthma rates in the world, with an estimated 450,000 people with doctor-diagnosed asthma, in addition to approximately 380,000 people living with COPD.
The five actions reflect the recommendations set out in the Healthy Lungs for Life campaign being undertaken by the European Lung Foundation and the European Respiratory Society.
Action 1, quit while you’re ahead. No matter what age we are, we can still extend our life by giving up smoking, however, the younger we are when we give up, the more years we can add on to our lives.
Action 2, adopt a healthy balanced diet. A diet of fruit, vegetables, fish, low salt and reduced trans-fats and omega-6 fatty acids, will help maintain good lung health.
Action 3, undertake regular exercise. In order to stay healthy, you should do 30 minutes of moderate exercise five days a week. Joining up with a friend or colleague will make it more fun and help keep you motivated. Action 4, breathe in fresh air. It is important that we all take steps to reduce both indoor and outdoor air pollution as pollutants can have a detrimental effect on our lung health.
Action 5, get the jab. With winter approaching, make sure to get vaccinated to offer you the best protection against viruses such as the ‘flu, pneumonia, and Covid-19.
Dr Marcus Butler,
Irish Thoracic Society,
We need feet on streets to save fishing industry
EDITOR – We have the richest fishing grounds in Europe and our Government is pushing Irish fishermen out of business.
Not alone are they losing their boats, but their dignity, with a fleet of boats gone to the scrapyard in West Cork.
It is not only the fishers and their families who will suffer, but the wider coastal communities.
Once again, Irish fishermen are being sacrificed as part of a deal between the United Kingdom and the European Union. When the UK left the EU the Commission transferred 25% of Irish fishing rights back to British waters.
This decision limited Irish vessels in the number of fish they are allowed to catch. We are looking at a loss of €43m a year, making this country the most affected. We were also sold out in 1972 with the reduced fishing limits.
Quotas have been cut every year since. We need feet on the street again to support what is left of our fishing industry.
People don’t feel safe so chief should step down
EDITOR – The Garda Commissioner is reported to have said he is not a politician and he should be judged on his policing. In that case, let me say, many feel they do not feel safe on the streets of our cities and towns. Crime is rampant and generally there are no gardaí to be seen. That should be a good enough reason for the Commissioner to resign.
Michael A Moriarty,