Fianna Fáil wants more help for farmers hit by fodder shortages

Fianna Fáil has calledon the Government to provide an additional €1.5min funding for farmers affected by recent fodder shortages.

The party hastabled a motion calling for a hardship fund to be established for small and medium sized farmers and for a meal voucher scheme to be put in place.

The Government has provided funding to import fodder and to transport it to affected areas - writes

TDs are due to debate the shortages when the Dáil returns today after the two-week Easter recess.

The Department of Agriculture has said it has already allocated €2 million to deal with the fodder shortages.

The Department has added that Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed is open to looking at the issue again if required.

Many opposition parties have also indicated they will raise the alleged data breach at Independent News and Media.

The Social Democrats have called for a commission on the future of the media to ensure media independence and prevent the over concentration of media ownership.

Co-leader Catherine Murphy said the partywill seek a Dáil debate on the matter and they are looking for cross-party support for the commission.

Meanwhile theCabinet hasagreed to set up a 26-member Oireachtas Committee to look at the implementation of the Manning Report into Seanad Reform.

The committee will be asked to select its own chair and report by the end of the year.

Separately aspokeswoman for the Minister for Transport, Shane Ross, said the minister is "happy" with the 50 amendments to the Judicial Appointments Commission Bill agreed at Cabinet.

She said:"There has been a lot of to-ing and fro-ing between [the Department of] Justice and Shane Ross. This legislation was very robustly debated at all stages that it has been at.

"Minister Ross is satisfied with the legislation as it is with the two core principles that he has always wanted, the lay majority and the lay chair. He is still very confident that this will be before the House either next week or the week after," she said.

A spokesman for the Government confirmed that the Minister for Justice has been in contact with Fianna Fáil's justice spokesperson Jim O'Callaghan about the amendments and he also intends to speak to his Sinn Féin counterpart about it.

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