Department faces wave of appeals over 'flawed' reports
EU payments ruling will have 'serious consequences' says Junior Minister
Published 12/07/2016 | 02:30
The Department of Agriculture is facing the first wave of potentially thousands of appeals against inspection decisions and penalties relating to EU farm payment entitlements.
The appeals follow a recent High Court decision which ruled the Department's inspection procedures were "flawed".
Galway solicitor John Cuddy confirmed he had received several inquiries from farmers after the findings of the recent High Court case were revealed in the Farming Independent.
"Justice must not only be done but must be seen to be done and this case highlights the fact that the decision making body and the appeals process had little or no regard to a farmer's constitutional rights," said Mr Cuddy.
The precedent-setting case saw a Co Tipperary farmer take a High Court challenge against the decision of the appeals officer after his 2010 single farm payment application was rejected.
The judge ruled the Department of Agriculture's inspection was "procedurally flawed" and a "control report" should have been provided so the farmer could review the details of the checks carried out.
It found there was "very little regard for fair procedures" and he should be entitled to the payment of the subsidy on the lands that qualified.
Mr Cuddy is advising farmers to seek a review of any Appeals Office decision by the Director of the Appeals Office.