Donegal Senator Pádraig Mac Lochlainn has slammed the delays in payments to hill farmers in Donegal following the summer gorse fires.
The devastating fires in May 2017 in areas all across Donegal led to widespread tracts of land deemed to being burned.
Senator Mac Lochlainn has today received confirmation from Department of Agriculture officials that some of the expected Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) payments will soon be released to the affected farmers. However, burned land deemed ineligible will result in significant financial losses to many local farmers.
Senator Mac Lochlainn said this is deeply unfair: “Large tracts of hill land across Donegal will be deemed ineligible for BPS payments because they were burned in the gorse fires from May of this year. That means large numbers of struggling hill farmers will lose vital financial assistance through no fault of their own.
“The Government and the Department of Agricuture have known about this issue for six months and had all of this time to put in place a compensation scheme for the affected farmers whose land may be ineligible under EU rules but they let this come to a head now at the time of year when farmers are anxiously waiting for their annual or staged payments.”
Senator Mac Lochlainn, who is a member of the Oireachtas Agriculture Committee, said he will be raising the issue at the next meeting.
“I am demanding that the Minister and his senior officials immediately engage with the farmer representative organistations to reach a speedy and fair resolution,” Senator Mac Lochlainn said.Tags: