One claim about the special investigations unit suggested that a department official overseeing the slaughter of some 4,000 pigs handed a lump hammer to a farmer and told him to finish the job, after the bolt gun failed. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Secretary general calls claims about investigations unit ‘malicious’ and ‘untrue’

Cattle on a Midlands farm. The Government has been urged to help  farmers aged under 40 who don’t qualify for supports for young farmers  after their plight was highlighted at the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture. File photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Government urged to support ‘old young farmers’ who cannot avail of new measures

‘Unprecedented’ interest sees figures more than double

Joyceans in full bloom at Glasnevin Cemetery. Pictured were actors: Louis O’Byrne who plays Martin Cunningham, Jim O’ Keeffe, who plays Jack Power, Blaise Reid who plays Narrator/ Cab Driver, Val O’ Donnell character of Simon Dedalus, Michael Carolan, Bloom’s Narrator, Ian Blackmore who plays Leopold Bloom. Photograph: Colm Mahady / Fennells

More than 100 James Joyce fans attend the celebration

Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney said his department was making good progress on the investigation.

Huge sympathy for Louth farmer at centre of scare

Researchers in New Zealand are working on a food supplement that could dramatically reduce methane emissions from animals.

Coveney says Irish researchers must find new ways of addressing climate change

The Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association said a new case of suspected BSE is a disappointment but not a catastrophe.

More than 1,650 cases of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy detected since 1989

The cow in the suspected BSE case was a Rotbunt cow, a rare pedigree breed is from a Louth farm well-regarded for its standards.

Department says calves and animals born at same time as affected cow will be destroyed

A farmer at work in the US. The Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture has heard that genetically modified (GM) technologies, such as those used in the US,  are  an important tool to help feed the world. File photograph: Getty Images

Joint committee told genetically modified food is necessary to help feed the world

Dublin Zoo’s sea lion cove, a new saltwater habitat, which allows visitors to observe the sea lions swimming underwater through glass, was officially opened by President Michael D Higgins. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

President pays a visit to his neighbours to launch wildlife park’s new attraction

Demand for water in Dublin is set to increase by more than 50 per cent by 2050

Four options under consideration for Dublin, east and midlands

 According to details of payments made through the Department of Agriculture, a number of international applicants have received funding under the Common Agricultural Policy programme. File photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Department details show international applicants received funding from programme

Three men have been arrested  following the recovery of a gun and drugs during a stop and search of a car in west Dublin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Trio arrested following recovery of shotgun during stop and search of car in Clondalkin

 Sisters Minna Maria (7) and Naina Therese George (5) with Owl Butterflies at Straffan Butterfly Farm which is due to close at the end of August. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Cost of running attraction a big factor in closure, according to owners Iris and Des Fox

Dr Pamela Byrne became chief executive of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland  in March

‘Traceability in food business systems is critically important,’ says Dr Pamela Byrne

A Dublin Fire Brigade spokesman said there were gas cylinders at the site of the warehouse in Farran’s Lane and heavy smoke was visible in the area. Photograph: The Irish Times

Firefighters from three units at fire brought under control two hours after alarm raised

113 migrants are rescued by the Irish Naval Services vessel LÉ Eithne on Saturday, June 5th. Photograph: Irish Defence Forces

Some 3,480 migrants rescued from 15 boats in Mediterranean on Saturday

This is how toast should be cooked, according to the European Food Safety Authority. Photograph: Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill

Food safety experts say children are most exposed group and urge more selective habits

The figures were published on the Department of Agriculture’s website agriculture.gov.ie on Saturday morning to comply with an EU regulation giving information on payments in EU-funded schemes. Photograph: Getty Images

Schools, stud farms and meat processors among the recipients of EU farm payments last year

More than €300,000 given to some farmers in EU scheme while average is under €19,000

 EU commissioner for agriculture  Phil Hogan: “It’s taxpayers’ money and I’m sure other sectors will follow suit in due course.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Farmers say there would be uproar if same system applied to social welfare recipients

Lamb Lady Gaga mmets President Michael D Higgins and his wife, Sabina.

More than 100,000 expected to attend the five-day event in Dublin’s Phoenix Park

Some €27.6 million worth of goods was stolen during residential burglaries in 2014 and cash or jewellery accounted for 41 per cent of this.

Number of reported burglaries peaked in November when there were 2,100

First-year students Conall Molloy, Cathal Smith, Sam Crawford and Tadhg Savage in the urban farm on Belvedere College rooftop. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Potatoes, wheatgrass, fish and bees among the growing projects

Fianna Fáil Senator Denis O’Donovan: “We have the worst record per 100,000 farmers. In the UK they have about 60 per cent of our deaths and throughout Europe it’s only about 50 per cent.” File photograph: Aidan Crawley/The Irish Times

Seanad report calls for players to help campaign to reduce number of fatalities

 SuperValu Food Academy suppliers  The Happy Pear, Nobo and Cool Beans help launch Food Academy 2015. Photograph: Conor Healy

Ice-cream, nettle syrup and spices among products to hit shelves

Visitors to the Jack & Jill garden which won a silver medal at the 2013 Bloom festival. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Stilettos, craft beer and Yeats among the inspirations for designs at Phoenix Park

Preliminary analysis of the Teagasc survey shows family farm income increased by 6 per cent in 2014, bringing the average farm income to €26,974. This does not include off-farm income, and the research found 51 per cent of farm households had an off-farm income. File photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Dairy farmer incomes at highest since Teagasc began National Farm Survey in 1972

EU Commissioner Carlos Moedas speaking at the official opening of the Paddy O’Keeffe innovation centre at Teagasc Moorepark in Fermoy: the centre is now home to some 200 people who are working in animal and grassland research

Some 200 staff are working in the €4.5m Paddy O’Keeffe Innovation Centre

Dr Bruce Campbell says Ireland has “a major challenge” in relation to greenhouse gas emissions because a large proportion of the total emissions comes from agriculture. The agriculture sector accounts for nearly one third of overall Irish greenhouse gas emissions.

Dr Bruce Campbell says no country is taking emissions reductions seriously

Tom Moran received the accolade for promoting a positive relationship between France and Ireland in the agriculture and agrifood sector. Photograph: Getty

Tom Moran received the Order du Mérite Agricole

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said: “It’s very clear that if this referendum is an affirmation of the views of young people, then the church has a huge task in front of it to find the language to be able to talk to and to get its message across to young people, not just on this issue, but in general.” File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Church needs to ask if it has drifted from the young in wake of marriage vote, says archbishop

From left: Jay Lassiter, John Keating and Trevor Powell, from the USA in the court yard at Dublin Castle. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times.

Carnival atmosphere at Dublin Castle ahead of referendum result

A file image showing gardai on Steelstown Lane. Photograph: Collins

Deceased found on same road where baby ‘Maria’ discovered in a bag two weeks ago

Máire Godfrey: “I can’t believe it’s me. It’s like it’s all happening to somebody else, but I’m getting a great kick from it all.”     Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Year of discovery included McDonald’s, a 3D movie, and a visit from Pádraig Harrington

Bees working in a hive. The Bí project, which is trying to reintegrate bees into Dublin’s northt inner city, has called on all Yes and No campaigners to allow referendum posters to be recycled as bee hives.  Photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Bí project appeals to campaigners to help it reintegrate bees into inner city Dublin

Students and friends applaud following the funeral mass of Ana Hick, at the Church of the Assumption, Dalkey, Co Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Funeral of 18-year-old student takes place in Dalkey

Food and Drink Industry Ireland director Paul Kelly said the food and drink industry was more deeply embedded in all regions of the Irish economy than any other manufacturing sector. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

IBEC group makes 24 recommendations to support growth in the agri-food sector

Ana Hick. Friends and classmates of the drama student will hold an evening of remembrance for the 18-year-old at the Irish Film Academy in Temple Bar on Monday evening.

Gardaí believe consumption of drugs was a factor in teenager’s death

One in three families with primary school children are worried about their budget for food, new research has found.

Study commissioned by Kellogg’s finds food poverty rate among low-income households is as high as 11%

Artist Ayelet Lalor in her  workshop: The treatment for her lymphoma includes a bone marrow transplant so her dusty workshop will be out of bounds for some time.

Lymph Chic is raising funds to build a sunroom where artist Ayelet Lalor can work

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland guidelines say the term “artisan” must only be used to promote  foods that are made “in limited quantities by skilled craftspeople”. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Words such as ‘farmhouse’ should not be slapped on factory ham, food companies told

 Tim Pat Coogan and Adhamhnán Ó Súilleabháin, at the launch of the latter’s new book, Domhnall Ua Buachalla: Rebellious Nationalist, Reluctant Governor. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Adhamhnán Ó Súilleabháin reveals book on life of nationalist and politician

Farming organisations are urging their members to use their votes in the forthcoming referendums. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Rural organisations encouraging people to use their votes in referendums

Jennifer Payne congratulates her husband Edward Payne, Ballymoe, Castlerea, Co Roscommon,  the 2014 winner of the FBD-sponsored Teagasc Student of the Year award at The Merrion Hotel, Dublin. Photograph: John T Ohle Photography

Expected shortage of workers on dairy farms needs to be addressed, says Minister

The  Vision for Irish Whiskey strategy says Irish whiskey is no longer about playing to the stereotypes of the “fighting Irish” or about spicing up an Irish coffee.  File photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

High spirits: Strategy aims to grow global market share from 4 to 12 per cent by 2030

Chef Adrian Martin pictured with a record-breaking gluten-free potato pancake at the launch if the Coeliac Society of Ireland’s awareness week in Smithfield. Photograph: Marc O’Sullivan

Estimated one per cent of the population is allergic to gluten

Co-operative says would be defending its position vigorously. Photograph: Graham Hughes/Photocall Ireland

Finbarr Tolan suing co-op for €6 million in damages over alleged breach of contract

Kale farmer Christopher Keane: “We can’t keep it on the shelves. I think it was some model over in America mentioned a few years ago that she was eating kale and the next thing was, everyone wanted to eat kale.” Photograph: The Irish Times

Vegetable lauded for nutrient and vitamin content is a key ingredient for juicing fans

Study author Dr Liam Downey: “Ireland was covered with cattle from time immemorial. In fact, cows were the currency.” Photograph: Cyril Byrne

People ate tonnes of butter, cheese, curds and whey and an awful lot of bread and porridge

President of Macra na Feirme Seán Finan: “Education at a young age remains the key to tackling farm safety . . . It’s a very long-term thing, but it’s very important that we target schools.”

Macra na Feirme agm urges Government to prioritise the rejuvenation of rural Ireland

Incoming Macra na Feirme president Seán Finan has said: “We have witnessed the decimation of rural Ireland in recent years with the closure of post offices and garda stations.”

Macra na Feirme president calls on Government to invest in rural areas

Regional laboratories carry out postmortems and test samples of specimens such as blood, milk or faeces on behalf of farmers

Department of Agriculture says report on veterinary laboratories expected in autumn

Donegal gaelic footballers   Eamon McGee, Michael Murphy and Paddy McBrearty who, along with their teammates, will be wearing jerseys with a farm safety message when they face Tyrone in their opening match of the championship next week.

Players to wear kits bearing stay safe message when they face Tyrone on Sunday week

File photograph: An unapproved meat processing facility in Belturbet, Co Cavan has been issued with a closure order by the Department of Agriculture for breaching food safety legislation.

Sales of products from Belturbet processing plant also forbidden, FSAI says

A spokesperson for the HSE said pest control was treated very seriously by hospital management. Photograph: The Irish Times

Coffee outlet in Our Lady’s Hospital one of seven food outlets issued with closure order

“Unless escalating input costs such as fertiliser are effectively addressed at EU level and elsewhere, the ability of farm families to continue to produce an affordable food supply for the expanding world population will be compromised,” Irish Farmers’ Association president Eddie Downey said. File photograph:  Sandra Mu/Getty Images

Prices escalate while costs of gas used in production have fallen, conference told

Patrick Mullins aboard Uncle Junior on the way to winning The FBD Cross Country Steeplechase for the La Touche Cup ahead of jockey Nina Carberry on Quantitativeeasing. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Ice-cream and champagne order of the day as racing enthusiasts bask in glorious sunshine

Seán O’Donnell, a dairy farmer from Co Mayo, won the Young Farmer of the Year award in 2014

Competition format changed to encourage entries from all farming sectors

Bombay Pantry’s Emma Sheehan said she was “absolutely delighted”that the company’s Indian ready meals would soon be on the shelves of Tesco. “It’s such a great opportunity. We’re from Wicklow and it will do great stuff for the local community in Kilcoole.” File pPhotograph: Jason Alden/Bloomberg

Seven-month programme provides mentoring and workshops to support companies

Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary and AP McCoy talk horseracing at the Punchestown festival. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Under starter’s orders – Hail gets punters racing for tented village and light refreshment

Record first-day attendance at the Punchestown festival

A hoopoe: it is 50 years since so many have been spotted in Ireland.

Birdwatchers believe a funnel of air caused them to overshoot France and land in Ireland

When the horse-meat scandal emerged in 2013 beef cost about €4 a kilo while horse meat was around 90 cents

Department of Agriculture and gardaí in EU operation of 26 arrests and passport seizures

Goal chief executive Barry Andrews said hospitals in Nepal were overrun and huge numbers of people had been left homeless and were sleeping rough. Photograph: AFP Photo/Getty Images

Oxfam Ireland says search and rescue is the initial priority, then providing water, food, medical care and shelter to survivors

 International Federation of the Red Cross  workers carrying an injured person in Kathmandu, Nepal,  April 25th, 2015. Photograph:  EPA/Carl Whetham/IFRC/EPA

Dublin climber Paul Greenan one of several climbers evacuated from Everest base camp

Under EU regulations, details of all payments made to Common Agriculture Policy beneficiaries in 2014 must be published by member states before May 31st. File photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times

Some farmers were concerned publication could leave them open to attack by burglars

The EU milk quota regime ended on March 31st and the department has estimated that farmers were 4.34 per cent over quota for the 12 months up to that date.

‘Super levy’ relates to 12 months before quota system ended

Michael Kelly, founder of Grow It Yourself, with Sara Whelan from New Ross’s edible quayside project. Some 200 projects  have been approved for grant aid from a community gardens fund run by Grow it Yourself. Photograph: Patrick Browne

Vegetable patch for asylum seekers among 200 projects to be aided by garden scheme

Fruit and vegetable growers say they are on their “last gasp” and there is a risk that some vegetables will no longer be commercially grown in Ireland if action is not taken. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times.

Committee told dominant position of supermarket chains ‘single biggest threat’ to industry

Faoiltiarna Keenan, a student from Co Tyrone gives a hand to US Ambassador Kevin O’Malley and Minister for the Diaspora Jimmy Deenihan while they pose for a photograph at  a USIT and CIEE (Council of International Educational Exchanges) orientation session at UCD student centre in  Belfield for J-1 participants. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times.

Wrecking of rented San Francisco property in 2014 did ‘reputational damage’, consul-general says

Farmers must sign up for five years under the scheme and will receive up to €220 per hectare a year while they are converting to organic farming.

Almost 2,000 farmers are registered organic, well below EU average

Kitty Scully, head kitchen gardener at Airfield Farm in Dundrum. Photograph: Alan Betson

Kitty Scully, head kitchen gardener at Airfield Farm in Dundrum, talks about growing food for Overends cafe, educating children a(...)

Carlos Moedas, European commissioner for research, science and innovation , addresses delegates at the  opening of the Paddy O’Keeffe Innovation Centre at Teagasc Moorepark, Fermoy, Co Cork

Carlos Moedas says progress is outstanding in food security, agriculture and bio-economy

Rob Kearney, Zoe Kavanagh, chief executive of the  National Dairy Council, and Minister for Agriculture Simon  Coveney at the launc h of National Dairy Week.

€250,000 campaign is organised by the National Dairy Council

 Alf McGlew and Andrew Purcell with Minister of State Ged Nash and Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney, participants in a Teagasc farm safety walk on their farm at Grangebellew, Co Louth. Photograph: Finbarr O’Rourke

Thirty people killed in farm accidents last year and three have already died this year

Des Jeffares on his blackcurrant farm in Ballykelly, Co Wexford

Manufacturer who runs last commercial farm in State attempts to save the industry

Try some of these questions asked at the quiz final

More than 25,000 children took part in the regional rounds over the past three months and they were whittled down to 400 children in 100 teams for the final. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Irish League of Credit Unions president says standard is getting higher every year

The Macra na Feirme website. “Macra na Feirme, as the only representative body for young farmers and rural youth in this country, should be proud of its achievements, especially in the context of the recent CAP young farmer measures.”

Seán Finan says organisation has massive scope for growth and development

All the candidates are prominent Macra na Feirme members and are all involved in farming.  Photograph:  Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Four candidates are in the race to succeed outgoing president Kieran O’Dowd

Less meat, more vegetables, reduced food waste . . . These are among the ways you can help cut carbon emissions. An event in Dubli(...)

A scene from The Passion Play in Ballylinan, Co Laois. Photograph: The Passion Play/Facebook

Three-hour production of story being staged for sixth time in Ballylinan

Teagasc’s indicated its dairy expansion service would be up and running before the end of May. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Dairy farmers need to ramp up production to drive income, says farm organisation

Leaders of the dairy industry gathered at the Department of Agriculture for a dairy-filled breakfast to mark the end of the milk quota regime with Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney.

Biggest policy change for rural Ireland in a lifetime, Minister for Agriculture says

Thomas Dwan, IFA dairy chairman Seán O’Leary and Edmond Dwan, with the family herd near Thurles, Co Tipperary on the last day of milk quotas. Photograph: Finbarr O’Rourke

Talk of ‘milk bubble’ dismissed amid evidence Irish dairy farmers will proceed cautiously

Badger culls have been used to try to stop the spread of TB, but this method of disease control has been criticised by animal welfare groups, particularly in the UK. File photograph: Getty Images

TCD zoologists place collars carrying devices on 50 nocturnal foragers in Wicklow

Minister for Development Seán Sherlock said Ireland’s contribution would fund humanitarian supplies, health, education, water and sanitation services, as well as measures to protect children. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Seán Sherlock says Ireland have donated more than €41 million since start of conflict

Irish Water: “A full clean-up is under way and relevant agencies will be notified.” Photograph: Getty Images

Utility indicates that spill occurred in Bennettsbridge but was quickly contained

NDC chief Zoe Kavanagh: “How do you make sure that we have mechanisms in place to ensure that we are operating to the highest standards rather than depending on the weakest link?”

Of those surveyed, 90% say reputation of the Irish dairy sector is robust

Polish MEP and candidate for President of Poland Janusz Korwin-Mikke addressing supporters in Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Controversial candidate for Polish presidency Janusz Korwin-Mikke says drugs should be legalised

Digging in: Mick O’Dea and Matt Smith at Moy Hill Community Farm. Photograph: Calum Creasey

The volunteer group grows fruit and vegetable and holds regular workshops

Kanayo Nwanze, president of the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development, said it was only when Ebola crossed the African deserts into Europe and crossed the ocean into the United States that “the world began to tremble”. Photograph: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images

Cost of dealing with outbreak could have built health services in three affected countries

EU Commissioner for Agriculture Phil Hogan said Europe would not allow the importation of hormone beef if a trade deal is agreed with the US. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Farmers’ group says EU talks with US could result in chemical-enhanced meat in domestic shops

Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly, pictured with Mary Fogarty from the Cottage Cafe in Loughmore village, Co Tipperary, said he was keen to see new ideas for renewing villages and small towns. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES

Minister Alan Kelly says funding must be used to ‘sustain employment’

Senator Gerard Craughwell: suggested “accident-free days” notices

Several calls for farm safety education to be compulsory in schools

Bord Bia chief executive Aidan Cotter: “It represents a huge opportunity to showcase the breadth, depth and capabilities,” of the Irish food industry

Food and drink buyer event is biggest ever staged in Ireland

John Mulhare as Jesus Christ during  rehearsals for the passion play in Ballylinan, Co Laois. Photograph: Alf Harvey/HRPhoto.ie

Almost 200 people involved in staging mammoth three-hour production of the Easter story in the Co Laois village, which runs from F(...)

“Investing in a dairy expansion operation takes a lot of money; and if you don’t manage your budgets, when you have a fodder crisis you can’t feed your animals”

Teagasc says vast majority of farmers not carrying out financial planning even though many are expanding as milk quotas are bein(...)

Tasty grub? The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has highlighted the nutritional value of insects and the benefits insect farming could have on the environment and on addressing the demand for food worldwide. File photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Interest growing in use of insects in human and animal diets

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