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03/08/2021

Agriculture minister facing fresh pleas for relaxing of livestock mart restrictions in Longford

Meet the candidate: Granard Municipal District Turlough 'Pott' McGovern (Independent)

Granard Municipal District Cllr Turlough 'Pott' McGovern (Independent)

Agriculture Minister Charlie McConalogue is facing mounting calls to relax restrictions at livestock marts across the county.

Independent Cllr Turlough 'Pott' McGovern said Level 5 Covid-19 restrictions were continuing to inflict undue hardship on Longford's agricultural community.

Under current guidelines and since October 20, marts are only allowed to operate online sales, a measure Cllr McGovern hit out at.

“It’s all to do with poor broadband,” he bemoaned at last week's county council meeting. “You can’t visual something whether it is for breeding or beef in a 20 second video.

“I think if this is going forward, we do want to hold onto our marts and let the boys back in. It’s very unfair to see men sitting outside. We are talking about gritting our roads,yet we won’t be have a mart to go to at this rate.”

Cathaoirleach and farmer by profession Cllr Paul Ross was equally sceptical, saying the issue was something Mr McConalogue had 'dropped the ball on'.

He said: “Agriculture plays a huge part of the economy of Co Longford and there is a great fear this will happen again next March if there is a third wave.”

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