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Seanad: An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (11 Jul 2024)

Tim Lombard: I acknowledge our new Senator and I wish her the very best of luck. I acknowledge her family. It is a wonderful day and a wonderful occasion. I hope she enjoys the experience. It is wonderful to be here. Senator Bradley will do very well. It is great to have a new colleague on these benches. I raise the issue of school transportation. Two school transportation pilot schemes have...

Seanad: Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters: Swimming Pools (10 Jul 2024)

Tim Lombard: The Minister of State is more than welcome. It is great to have an opportunity to have the Minister of State responsible for sport deal with this issue. The issue that I am asking the Minister of State to make a statement about is the national swimming strategy. The national swimming strategy was based on a document published and the title was about everyone in Ireland having the...

Seanad: Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters: Swimming Pools (10 Jul 2024)

Tim Lombard: I was not aware that the strategy was approved by the Government yesterday. I thank the Minister of State for bringing that information to the House. It is very important that we have the publication of this document-----

Seanad: Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters: Swimming Pools (10 Jul 2024)

Tim Lombard: It is very important that once it is published we have the opportunity for the Minister of State to come to the House. He might give us some time to discuss this very important strategy. It is very important that everyone be given the opportunity and ability to swim. Lessons are also very important. The Minister of State referred to the issue of swimming pool stock being insufficient....

Seanad: An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (10 Jul 2024)

Tim Lombard: I want to make sure we have an age-friendly public transport service. There has been significant investment in public transport in the past four years and I acknowledge the Government's commitment to it. It has made the lives of many people much easier in terms of getting around. We have issues where bus shelters have been provided, which are appropriate, but a timetable has not been...

Seanad: An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (9 Jul 2024)

Tim Lombard: First, I acknowledge the contribution made by the Cathaoirleach regarding the great John O'Mahony. I got to know John in 2016. On my first day in the Seanad, John's wife sat beside my wife in the Public Gallery and they had a wonderful conversation and chat. Catherine was pregnant with twins at the time and John and his wife told us they had twins and the whole lot. It was an amazing...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine: Statement of Strategy 2023-2026: Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (3 Jul 2024)

Tim Lombard: I will start with the Chair's opening statements regarding what happened last week with the slaughtering of the horses. We are very much aware of the disappointing show on TV regarding the issue, the knock-on implications for the industry and how it affected confidence in the entire industry. Statements were made at last week's hearings that it was new to them that there was cloning of...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine: Statement of Strategy 2023-2026: Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (3 Jul 2024)

Tim Lombard: After the BSE issue in the late 1990s, we moved quickly to make sure we were not just following EU law but became the world leader on the whole issue. In 2013, meat entered the food chain which was not appropriate for it. A decade later, the exact same thing has happened. It is a question of accountability. I am not trying to rewrite history. We know what worked when it came to BSE and...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine: Statement of Strategy 2023-2026: Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (3 Jul 2024)

Tim Lombard: They go back to 2019. In the correspondence I read, they go back to cases listed in 2019.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine: Statement of Strategy 2023-2026: Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (3 Jul 2024)

Tim Lombard: I got the impression last week that it was new to the organisation that there was cloning of microchips.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine: Statement of Strategy 2023-2026: Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (3 Jul 2024)

Tim Lombard: The potential of these animals entering the food chain through passport fraud or even microchip cloning is a significant issue. What we are talking about could enter the food chain. Have there been other investigations by the European network concerning that potential?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine: Statement of Strategy 2023-2026: Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (3 Jul 2024)

Tim Lombard: I am conscious not to relive the case because it would be inappropriate to do that. I will not go there. Regarding the timeline for this review in which Mr. Wall is involved, are we waiting for the end of this case before the recommendations are brought forward? What is the proposed timeline?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine: Statement of Strategy 2023-2026: Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (3 Jul 2024)

Tim Lombard: I do not understand. Will terms of reference be brought forward for a review or is Professor Wall doing what he wants? What is the vision for Professor Wall's engagement with the Department? Is Professor Wall being told what to do?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine: Statement of Strategy 2023-2026: Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (3 Jul 2024)

Tim Lombard: I ask Mr. Gleeson to inform the committee when he has that proposal. I will move to an important topic. As Mr. Callanan is here, it is important that we have the opportunity. I will be brief. There is a milk supply issue. Supply was down 4.1% in 2023. I have been given figures that it is down 9% so far in 2024. There is a significant drop in milk volume, to say the least. The...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine: Statement of Strategy 2023-2026: Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (3 Jul 2024)

Tim Lombard: How can we increase the confidence of dairy farmers in their ability to keep on going?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine: Statement of Strategy 2023-2026: Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (3 Jul 2024)

Tim Lombard: Just to keep on the theme the Senator from Roscommon raised, regarding-----

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine: Statement of Strategy 2023-2026: Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (3 Jul 2024)

Tim Lombard: Indeed you are, sir. My deepest apologies. The issue is potentially about the production and the loss of production in certain key areas. We mentioned that the weather might be a potential narrative there. Confidence is an issue as well. We have seen huge issues that farmers might see they have probably overscaled and will pull back a little bit. Will Mr. Callanan give me an indication...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine: Statement of Strategy 2023-2026: Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (3 Jul 2024)

Tim Lombard: That is very-----

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine: Statement of Strategy 2023-2026: Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (3 Jul 2024)

Tim Lombard: You would think that banding would be an issue here, that farmers would have said they need lower production to get into a different nitrate band. Is Mr. Callanan concerned that is why we have seen the reduction in production because farmers have looked at the banding issue and said they cannot be in the top band?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine: Statement of Strategy 2023-2026: Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (3 Jul 2024)

Tim Lombard: I have one more question, Chair. I am under time pressure. The TB issue my colleague raised was a really important statement. Three of us here today remember the famous Dr. Margaret Good, a formidable lady, informing us there would be a strategy and that the problem would be all sorted by 2030. That has not quite happened. The Department's eradication programme has been going since 1957....

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