Farm Ireland

Tuesday 16 January 2018

Farms in west will be abandoned says Divilly

Caitriona Murphy

Caitriona Murphy

Continuous cuts to farm incomes in the west of Ireland could result in land abandonment problems in the future, the IFA's Connacht vice president has warned.

Young farmers in the west, northwest and southwest will refuse to accept the hardship suffered by farmers in the region, insisted Padraig Divilly.

Mr Divilly is seeking an urgent meeting with Taoiseach Enda Kenny to highlight the pressure being put on farmers from Donegal to west Cork through continuous cuts to farm schemes.

"Since 2008, the cuts in REPS, Disadvantaged Area payments, the Suckler Cow scheme and now AEOS have been focused on this area, which is a very vulnerable area," he maintained. He added that the majority of land was designated as special protection area (SPA), special area of conservation (SAC), natural heritage area (NHA) and Natura 2000 area.


"Farmers in these areas are very restricted in the type of farming they can do," said Mr Divilly.

"Everything in these designated areas is dictated by rules and authorities.

"The Government has to recognise that the west of Ireland needs extra attention," he insisted.

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"I don't think the minister understands the hardship we have to go through, farming on the edge of the Atlantic."

Meanwhile, IFA president John Bryan said farmers were angry that the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney had failed to introduce an AEOS scheme in advance of the Single Farm Payment deadline of mid-May.

"Does the minister not realise that the loss of REPS 3 will represent a reduction of up to 50pc in net incomes for many of the farmers affected?" he asked.

"No other sector is being let down so hard, and the minister needs to deliver a meaningful AEOS scheme if the so-called social solidarity is to mean anything for farm families," Mr Bryan insisted.

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