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Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine: Roles, Responsibilities and Key Programmes of Bord Bia: Discussion (23 Jan 2018)

Michelle Mulherin: I am sure Ms McCarthy noted in November that the Citizens' Assembly delivered a damning indictment of Irish agriculture. I think 89% called for a tax on greenhouse gas emissions in agriculture. Was Bord Bia invited to present at the Citizens' Assembly? What is its view in relation to that particular proposition and, to me, the very negative view put on the efforts being made by farmers to...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine: Roles, Responsibilities and Key Programmes of Bord Bia: Discussion (23 Jan 2018)

Michelle Mulherin: What prompted Bord Bia to carry out the research?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine: Roles, Responsibilities and Key Programmes of Bord Bia: Discussion (23 Jan 2018)

Michelle Mulherin: When will Bord Bia conclude its analysis?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine: Roles, Responsibilities and Key Programmes of Bord Bia: Discussion (23 Jan 2018)

Michelle Mulherin: Will it then report?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine: Roles, Responsibilities and Key Programmes of Bord Bia: Discussion (23 Jan 2018)

Michelle Mulherin: May I be excused as I have another meeting to attend?

Seanad: Agricultural Issues: Statements (24 Jan 2018)

Michelle Mulherin: I welcome the Minister. Without a doubt the most immediate and pressing issue in the north and north west of the country is fodder. The continuously wet weather that people have been experiencing more or less since last summer, as previously outlined, has affected farmers' ability to save silage, hay and so on. It has also caused them to house animals at an early stage, putting more...

Seanad: Agricultural Issues: Statements (24 Jan 2018)

Michelle Mulherin: What did I just say?

Seanad: Agricultural Issues: Statements (24 Jan 2018)

Michelle Mulherin: I propose that the House suspends until 5 p.m.

Seanad: Mandatory Reporting: Statements (25 Jan 2018)

Michelle Mulherin: I welcome the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Deputy Katherine Zappone, to the House.

Seanad: Order of Business (31 Jan 2018)

Michelle Mulherin: I raise the issue of hedge cutting, which is a plague in rural highways and byways. I call for a co-ordinated approach between the ESB, eir and the county councils. There are many areas where the hedges are never cut. In other places, it is haphazard. With a pooling of resources, we could achieve far more hedge cutting.It really is a road safety issue in many areas of the country that do...

Seanad: Order of Business (1 Feb 2018)

Michelle Mulherin: I wish to comment on the national broadband plan. Without doubt, yesterday represents a very significant development whereby Eir withdrew from the tender process. It is imperative that the Minister comes to the House to debate the matter. Such a debate must be one that constitutes more than a wringing of hands on the part of the Opposition - in delight, I might add. Broadband is, as many...

Seanad: Order of Business (6 Feb 2018)

Michelle Mulherin: I was quite dismayed today to see headlines in at least one newspaper highlighting the National Transport Authority's report on rail, and to see that it was the lead story. This is a report that was published in November 2016, which dumbs down the economic need for vital transport infrastructure, particularly rail, in the west and north-west regions. It is very telling that this report...

Seanad: Order of Business (6 Feb 2018)

Michelle Mulherin: When it comes to bus services, it is one crisis after another and now we are being told that the trains could be gone. It was the same with Colm McCarthy. This threat is constantly hanging over us. The reasons regularly given are economies of scale and include in what we need to invest and so on. We do need to have a debate and some facts and figures. Last year passenger numbers on the...

Seanad: Order of Business (6 Feb 2018)

Michelle Mulherin: When Knock airport carried out a survey recently, it showed that there was a population of 1.2 million living within 90 minutes of the airport. They are paying taxes. Let us have a debate about the subsidisation of public transport. My understanding is the DART is the most subsidised mode of transport, not services in the west. Let us have the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine: Aquaculture Licensing Process: Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (6 Feb 2018)

Michelle Mulherin: I also want to ask about the process agreed with DG Environment to address the issues in the judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union. In particular, I refer to the environmental impact of industrial-scale fish farms and how the concerns around that are addressed. Part of the process involves the National Parks and Wildlife Service setting conservation objectives. The area...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine: Aquaculture Licensing Process: Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (6 Feb 2018)

Michelle Mulherin: Let me clarify a matter. The State set conservation objectives for salmon which were implemented when the State bought out the draft nets at sea. This was done to preserve the wild salmon stock. Are these measures taken into consideration now in the granting of licences that could adversely impact on wild salmon?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine: Aquaculture Licensing Process: Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (6 Feb 2018)

Michelle Mulherin: I raised the concern because IFI has raised the concern and it knows more about salmon conservation than I do. Notwithstanding my respect for the Marine Institute and its wealth of scientific knowledge, I am concerned when the IFI has concerns because the salmon and trout stock and so on is its primary concern.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine: Aquaculture Licensing Process: Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (6 Feb 2018)

Michelle Mulherin: What about onshore fish farms?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine: Aquaculture Licensing Process: Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (6 Feb 2018)

Michelle Mulherin: Is the Department actively looking at the possibility of onshore and the pros and cons of doing it? We will always find people who have sometimes extreme environmental concerns who see everything going pear-shaped very quickly but it has been explained to me and I have seen footage of very problematic offshore fish farms in Canada where it seems to have caused environmental disaster. I...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine: Aquaculture Licensing Process: Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (6 Feb 2018)

Michelle Mulherin: I presume if it was overwhelmingly environmentally preferable, or even quite preferable, to have it onshore, Government policy would incentivise onshore as opposed to offshore and it would then become more commercially attractive. We dealt with these types of issues with renewable energy. We have to support renewable energy at the moment. As it goes along and technology develops it becomes...

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