Bygone Days: Criticism of Wool Board by Ulster growers

“We have been inundated over the past two weeks with phone calls from angry farmers and collectors telling us that since mid-June anyone who books wool deliveries in Muckamore has been offered mid-delivery dates. -October,” NIAPA Secretary John Joe Bradley said. says Farming Life.

“We also spoke to an agent who told us he arrived in Muckamore with a lorry loaded with wool at 8am and didn’t manage to get unloaded until after noon.”

Mr Bradley said it was a “totally unacceptable” situation.

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Admiring the Ivomac Trophy for the Ballymena Show, at the launch of the 1982 show in June 1982, are Mr Brian King, Mr Harry McKinney, Vice President, and Mr Robert Orr, President. Photo: Farming Life Archive/News Letter

“Most of the clip for the year has yet to go to Muckamore as the majority of the mountain sheep are yet to be sheared.

“We don’t understand why this situation should exist in Northern Ireland since we have almost double the unemployment rate of any other region in the UK.

“We understand the Wool Board is planning additional storage facilities, but that’s not going to alleviate the problem this year,” he said.

He added: “It would surely be much simpler to increase the number of graders in use and thus increase the amount of wool handled each week, instead of trying to keep a small number of graders working 52 weeks a year. .

Pictured at the launch of the 1982 Ballymena Show in June 1982, Sheep Committee members and sponsors: John Anderson, Harold Dickey, Cecil Boggs of Richardsons, Committee Chairman James Armstrong, Campbell Tweed and David Cowan. Photo: Farming Life Archive/News Letter

Commenting on the NIAPA criticism, Mr Maurice Megahey, a Northern Irish member of the BWMB, said three full-time graders were employed at Muckamore and in an emergency the manager also assessed.

He pointed out that Muckamore processed an average of 110,000,000 wool per week.

“The total wool produced in Ireland last year was 2,220,864 kilos. We are a month late. 1984: last year the increase was the highest in Europe; this year it is up eight percent. This means that we process 2.4 million kilos this year.

“We managed 1.89m in 1984 and are a month behind 1984,” he said.

Wallace Perry, Secretary of the Ballymena Show, and Bertie Nevin, Chief Trade Stand Steward, talk at the launch of the 1982 show in June 1982. Photo: Farming Life Archive / News Letter

A new building in Muckamore was due to be operational by mid-month, Mr Megahey noted.

“We also have an IT link with Bradford which saves time and postage and speeds up payments.

“If producers keep throwing wool at us, it is inevitable that problems will arise. Producers should remember that wool delivered to their carrier or to Ulster Wools after September 1 automatically qualifies for a storage bonus equal to one pence per kilo per month.

“Producers can improve the situation by keeping the wool on their farms.” he said.

Ballymena Show veterans pictured at the launch of the 1982 Ballymena Show in June 1982. Pictured are Jack Bamber and Bobby Grant. Photo: Farming Life Archive/News Letter


Eight food processing and animal feed projects in Northern Ireland have received grants totaling £1.2 million from the European Commission, Farming Life reported this week in July 1986.

The aid was part of a £58million allocation from the Guidance Section of the Agricultural Fund (EAGGF) to 281 projects in the community.

The main beneficiary in Northern Ireland was Cookstown firm Unipork, which received a £481,000 grant to upgrade its pigmeat factory in Enniskllen.

A grant of nearly £300,000 had also gone to JD Fulton, Tullylinkesay Mills, Castledawson, for the modernization of its animal feed factory.

A total of 47 projects in the UK are receiving total support of £6.1 million.

Jim Quinn of Crossgar, Co Down, adjusts the studs on Glenlagan, owned by Billy McIlroy, Dromara, as rider Margie Lowry, Crossgar, watches the Portadown Show in June 1982. Photo: Farming Life Archive/News Letter

Ireland received a total of £5.7 million for 16 projects.

Projects supported in Northern Ireland included: Unipork Ltd, Cookstown, £461,859 for the upgrading of pigmeat processing facilities in Enniskillen; Unipork Ltd, £19,329, for the upgrading of pig slaughter facilities in Enniskillen; JD Fulton, Tullylinkesay Mills, Castledawson, £299,860, for the modernization of a feed mill; Cookstown Meats Ltd, Cookstown, £145,925, for the supply of meat processing facilities. Ulster Farm Turkeys, Cookstown, £98,717, for the provision of processing facilities for fresh and frozen turkey; Dungannon Farmers Mart, £92,848, for moving Dungannon Cattle Market.