Feathers look set to fly as farmers and the State head for a legal battle over the hen harrier, writes Martin Ryan.
A meeting in the Woodlands Hotel. Adare, Co Limerick this Thursday (April 9) is expected to give the go-ahead to a legal challenge against the State and the Department of Agriculture over 'losses' incurred by nearly 4,000 farmers who have lands designated as Special Protection Areas (SPAs) for the hen harrier.
The legal challenge is being taken by members of the Irish Farmers with Designated Land (IFDL).
Group chairman, Jason Fitzgerald, claimed that almost 100,000ha belonging to 4,000 farmers from Limerick, Cork, Kerry, Tipperary and Galway had been rendered "almost worthless" by the hen harrier SPA.
"We no longer willing to carry this burden without access to a properly funded hen harrier protection scheme," he said.