Mayo County Council has set up a new agricultural working group of 13 people to deal with agricultural issues in the county including, to provide a representative voice for farmers in Mayo in relation to national and European agricultural policy, to ensure that farmers are aware of opportunities to diversify in order to ensure viability in the future, and to review products produced by farmers in Mayo to ensure future viability.
The working group will be made up of four elected members of the council, those being councillors Damien Ryan, Gerry Murray, Gerry Ginty, and John Cribben, who were nominated at last Monday's council meeting by the three major parties on the council, Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, Sinn Féin, and the grouping of Independent councillors. Along with the four elected members of the councils, Planning, Environmental and Agricultural SPC, and five members to be nominated by external bodies including Tegasc, IFA, Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association, the Department of Agriculture and the National Parks and Wildlife Service.
Speaking after the nominations of the members Fine Gael councillor Patsy O'Brien praised the Cathaoirleach of the council, Cllr Michael Holmes, for driving this project on, saying: "I'd like to pay special tribute to yourself in the chair for bringing this through, it was one of your mission statements when you were elected to the chair last year and I want to congratulate you on your efforts to date, and it's something that should have been always there and I think never more so than now, have we been dependent on our agricultural sector in the county." Cathoirleach Holmes told the meeting: "I felt strongly about this and you know it's something hopefully in the time and months and years that come we can take on some of the issues here today, because they are very much linked now, flooding and the rules and regulations that farmers and everyone has to deal with.