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Farmer's must be paid for hen harrier strife



DUHALLOW'S Deputy Aine Collins (FG) has raised the plight of farmers whose land is classified as being hen harrier protected in the Dail.

She said that she is concerned about the impact which the EU directives are having on the livelihoods of small land-holders and farms.

"Recent EU directives aimed at the protection of the hen harrier and the freshwater pearl mussel will result in a vast area of this region becoming totally non-productive. Any moderate farming, not to mention intensive farming, is impossible," she said.

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Forestry is not allowed in the area

any longer and under the new county development plan wind energy is also to be discouraged.

She said that "adequate compensation" must be paid to families.

It was her view that adequate compensation for the restrictions must be comparable with what could be achieved from forestry plantations.

Deputy Collins said that she met a constituent who has 400 acres of designated hen harrier protected land who wanted to sell 50 acres to invest in a business but the land was "valueless."