Farmers stage sit in at Department's office after being refused meeting
Farmers in North Tipperary are staging a protest in the Department of Agriculture's offices, after they say they were declined a meeting.
Approximately 200 farmers, led by IFA North Tipperary Chairman Tim Cullinane, arrived in the offices of the Department in Nenagh this morning in a dispute over the inspection regime in the area and a number are now refusing to leave.
The farmers occupied the offices around mid morning and requested a meeting with the area inspector, which it is understood was refused.
Cullinane said that the farmers will remain in situ until they are granted a meeting to discuss the situation.
The North Tipperary IFA Chairman said that the treatment of Tipperary farmers on area aid inspections is not acceptable and can no longer be tolerated.
He said that in 2015 there was 321 inspections carried out by the Nenagh office and penalties were applied in 53pc of the cases, amounting to total fines of €1.28m.
Nationally, he said, the penalty rate is 39pc of inspections and the average penalty is €750.00 compared to an average of €1,300 per inspection in Tipperary
Livestock farmers, he said, are dependant on the single farm payment for 90-100pc of their income and all the protesting farmers are looking for is a reasonable approach by inspectors who come onto farms.