Baile an t-Úllghort, 29ú Eanair –
Above: The first edition of the OS map of Dooneen Cove Island
On Wednesday, 21 January, the Co-Presidents met at Orchardstown to discuss national affairs. Two acts which had been drafted beforehand were signed into law, while plans were put in place for the year ahead in the agricultural sector, which is mostly state-controlled.
The Government Bodies Act 2015, the first bill of the year, was the first to be signed into law. It creates four categories of government sub-body: an office (similar to a department, e.g. the Foreign Office), an agency (e.g. the Ordnance Survey), a state company and a semi-state company. The latter two have been differentiated from each other in order to preserve the Confederation’s natural resources. Semi-state companies may have some private interests as shareholders or directors, but only state companies, which will remain under the full control of the government, may extract natural resources. Funding to all government bodies is to be appropriated by the National Treasury in the Budget, which will be released later this year.
Logo of the Ordnance Survey
The first government body to be set up by the government was done through the Ordnance Survey Act 2015, which set up the Ordnance Survey of Leylandiistan & Gurvata. It will be “responsible for all the cartographical and surveying needs of the Confederation”. As the national mapping agency, it has released a map of Dooneen Cove Island, the Confederation’s only uninhabited territory, and is due to release one of Leylandiistan. It may sell maps and other publications to fund its activities.
At the meeting the government also began planning the year ahead for the agricultural sector. Seeds have already been purchased, and a full list of crops which will be grown in Eastern Gurvata’s plots and at An Fheirm in Leylandiistan will be released soon once plans are finalised. Béal na Tíre can reveal that among the crops grown will be rare crops like globe artichokes, fenugreek and soybean, which are cheaper to grow locally than import. A trial plot of sugar beet will also be grown, and once harvested in autumn the country’s potential to reduce sugar imports will be assessed. Sugar beet seeds have been acquired, and equipment needed to extract the sugar is already in place. All crops will be grown organically, with plans in place to outlaw a large number of agri-chemicals proven to pose a threat to the environment or human health. Unofficial “planning permission” has been granted by Orchardstown residents to the co-operative to double and possibly triple its cultivated land. Béal na Tíre will organise a special agricultural report when the growing season begins in spring. We will also release any announcements from the government with regard to the agricultural sector.