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Agriculture Minister Charlie McConalogue Sasko Lazarov

Details of a fodder support scheme for farmers impacted by flooding to be signed off today

The scheme is specifically for farmers on the Shannon Callows and comes after the Minister previously said there would be no such support.

MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE Charlie McConalogue will today seek Cabinet sign-off on a scheme for farmers impacted by flooding on the Shannon Callows. 

The scheme comes following extremely challenging weather conditions this summer which has resulted in some farmers being unable to save fodder crops for this coming winter. 

The problem has been compounded by the continuing wet conditions throughout September and October.

Minister McConalogue said, “I recognise the acute and exceptional nature of the challenge for affected farmers and have been engaging with Government colleagues in the area and will be confirming details of a scheme to Cabinet.”

Further details are expected later today.

The scheme comes following protests from farmers in the Shannon Callows over a lack of government action on the flooding.

Smartphones in schools

Also being brought to Cabinet this morning is a memo from Minister for Education Norma Foley on the use of smartphones in primary schools. 

As reported at the weekend, Foley wants to see a “collective decision” among parents and guardians not to purchase smartphones for children of primary school age. 

The memo will outline the supports that will be given to schools, and in particular parents, in relation to this issue, the Minister said.

A number of schools in Wicklow, Waterford and Dublin have successfully implemented voluntary codes disallowing smartphones and encouraging parents and guardians to hold off on buying smartphones for their children until they reach secondary school. 

It is understood the Minister wants to see this replicated across all primary schools in the country due to the negative impact smartphones have on children – particularly in the form of online bullying, the risk of grooming, and exposure to harmful and inappropriate content.

The suggestion appears to have widespread support across Government.

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