Other News In Brief

SF Urge SoS To Protect Border

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Julian Smith was met with a loud and clear message from protestors against hardening the border during a visit to L'Derry today, 12 September.

Sinn Fein representatives joined a protest to greet the MP for Skipton and Ripon ahead of his meeting with political and civil leaders in the city.

Foyle MP Elisha McCallion said: "Ahead of the meeting with political and civic leaders I joined protestors from the Irish language sector, the LGBT community and survivors of victims of historical institutional abuse, as well as members of Border Communities Against Brexit and others to make our views clear to Julian Smith.

"He was left in no doubt that we will not tolerate having the Good Friday Agreement and our rights undermined by Brexit and that the backstop must be maintained.

"I also made him aware of the growing demand for a referendum on Irish unity in line with the provision in the Good Friday Agreement so that people here can have their own say on their future in the face of his government's reckless Brexit agenda."

Armagh Route To Close For Improvements

A series of improvements are set to be delivered on the Redrock Road in Armagh, starting later this month.

This £460,000 scheme will see a 2.4km section of the road resurfaced from its junction with the Newry Road to the junction with the Seagahan Road.

Work will get underway on Monday 23 September and run until Wednesday 13 November.

A daily weekday road closure will be implemented between 8am and 6pm during the project.

Traffic is being diverted via the A28 Newry Road and the Seagahan Road.

Road users should expect some delays and are advised to leave additional time when planning any journeys.

Union Urges Dairy Farmers To Pay True Milk Price

The Ulster Farmers' Union is calling on the board members of all Northern Ireland dairy companies to challenge their CEO's to pay a reflective and true milk price to farmers.
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Northern Ireland prices have fallen behind key indicators since late autumn last year and are 2/2.50p behind what markets are returning including any margin deduction.

UFU Deputy President Victor Chestnutt said: "It's time for processors to wake up. The NI base milk price is lagging behind key market indicators, but there is also a widening gap with milk producing neighbouring countries. Dairy processor board members should be making this case to their chairs and chief executives. Dairy processors need to stop sitting on their hands and at the bare minimum hold the milk price until the end of the year, it is the least dairy farmers deserve at this stage."

The UFU's analysis of AHDB milk price has shown that for June, when compared to other EU member states, at 26.43ppl only Latvia, Lithuania and Romania are receiving a worse milk price than NI.

While the NI milk price has dropped unjustifiably since the beginning of the year, input costs have continued to rise.

"Dairy processors are hanging farmers out to dry. How can they be expected to cope when the price they're getting for milk barely covers production costs, not to mention the struggle to create an income to live off. This financial pressure, which is being generated unnecessarily by processors, can cause serious issues for farming families. At the end of the day, we're talking about their livelihoods," said Mr Chestnutt.

A decline in butter, which only represents one product in a diverse dairy product range, has been used as an excuse for falling milk prices as is Brexit – neither of which are acceptable reasons, according to the union.

"Butter is starting to rise after taking a hit and cream is also experiencing an upward trend and yet the NI milk base price remains unjustifiable. Meanwhile, the farming industry continues to be left in the dark regarding Brexit but the uncertainty surrounding the UK's exit from the EU, can no longer be blamed for the fall in milk price. The uncertainty impacts the whole supply chain not just processing. The only individuals who are preventing farmers receiving a fair price for their milk is the processors," Mr Chestnutt concluded.


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