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The Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) AGM will be held this weekend at Eikon Exhibition Centre, Balmoral Park and Slieve Gullion Councillor, Cllr Oonagh Magennis is urging all suckler and hill farmers to attend if they are members of the UFU council, to put pressure on the Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots to listen to their calls for help.

The AGM will also be streamed live for those unable to travel at this time.

Cllr Magennis commenting on the issue facing farmers said “Many  farmers throughout south Armagh and further afield feel very hard done by and most do not qualify for help from any scheme due to their lack of earnings.

"It is an extremely unfair system. If we are not careful the tradition of hill farmers and those with suckler herds will become obsolete. This would be a travesty for rural Ireland.

Cllr Magennis continued “The farming industry across the island is facing huge challenges with the COVID-19 pandemic and Brexit, so it is important that our farmers get the chance to challenge those in power to protect their own livelihoods at a critical period for the farming and wider agri-food industry”.

Concluding the Councillor said “Suckler farmers and hill sheep farmers need to be included in the scheme to get some of the £7 million that has not yet been allocated from the £25 million pot. Declan McAleer has been lobbying the Minister repeatedly on this issue and I hope those attending the UFU AGM on Saturday also put the pressure on Minister Poots to allocate the outstanding £7 million fairly to give these farmers a lifeline”.

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