'There must be due process' - Farmers claim payments being held back over wildfires

Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

Calls have been made for fair judgement in cases where farmers’ BPS payments are being held back as a result of their lands being deemed to have been burned.

IFA National Hill Committee Chairman Pat Dunne has said unless the Department of Agriculture can prove who is responsible for land being burned, hill farmers should not be penalised.

“ There must be due process that allows farmers to maintain their payments where fires damaged their land through no fault of their own.

“Unless such a process is put in place, farmers with burned land are being unfairly victimised and have no way to achieve a fair assessment of their situation.”

Dunne said the IFA will be meeting the Department of Agriculture shortly to discuss this issue.

Almost 100 'illegal' wild fires have been notified to the European Commission by Irish Wildlife Trust.

The IWT presented to the EC a table of 97 wild fires between the March 24 and May 22, 2017 from 19 counties in the republic (Kerry, Cork, Mayo, Galway, Waterford, Wicklow, Donegal, Louth, Carlow, Limerick, Wexford, Dublin, Tipperary, Sligo, Roscommon, Kildare, Cavan, Monaghan and Leitrim) which they deem illegal.

It says 39 of these (40%) were within sites designated under the Natura 2000 network (Special Areas of Conservation or Special Protection Areas under the EU’s Habitats/Birds Directive).

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These include Killarney National Park, Wicklow Mountains National Park, Connemara,

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