October 19, 2021
Agriculture Minister can and must ensure full basic payments for penalised farmers – Matt Carthy TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Agriculture, Matt Carthy TD, has said that a response from the European Commission regarding farmers whose holdings have been hit by natural disaster, confirms that the Department of Agriculture may not have to implement penalties.

Farmers such as those with land surrounding Lough Funshinagh in Roscommon and surrounding Killarney National Park fear that they may be penalised on their Basic Payments as a result of flood and fire for which they bear no responsibility.  

Minister Charlie McConalogue previously stated that there was very little he could do.

Teachta Carthy said:

“Farmers, including those from Roscommon and Kerry, are fearful that their Basic Payments will be penalised through no fault of their own as a result of wildfire or flooding.

“This proposition always appeared to be ludicrous.  I have always advocated that the Minister for Agriculture should use the full breadth of his discretion to avoid fining farming families who have already borne the brunt of natural disaster entirely outside of their control.

“I have engaged with both the Department of Agriculture and the European Commission directly on this matter to seek a resolution – this is not about compensation or emergency provision; it’s about not imposing a fine.

“These fines exist for legitimate reasons such as to prevent burning out of season and protect the environment.

“They aren’t intended to kick a person in the teeth while they’re already suffering due to a natural disaster.

“As such, I was not surprised to learn that the European Commission, in response to my colleague Chris MacManus MEP, has confirmed that provision exists for situations that arise from force majeure.

“Interestingly, force majeure is referenced in the Departments own Help-sheet/Terms and Conditions for 2021, but only in relation to application deadlines and the functioning of inspections but not with regard to eligibility criteria itself.

“Minister McConalogue urgently needs to make a statement to clarify if he will accept these circumstances as force majeure, and ensure that these farmers are paid their Basic Payment in full, or if not, his justification for such.”

Follow us online

Latest Tweets

I am determined to build a brighter future for all our young people, where they have the support and opportunities to achieve whatever they set their minds to.

I was privileged to speak to a room full of kind and articulate young people who have been involved in mentoring and…

Kingsmill families are entitled to truth – @GerryKellyMLA http://vote.sinnfein.ie/kingsmill-families-are-entitled-to-truth-kelly/

Number of patients waiting on an appointment date grew by 7,000 in March - @davidcullinane

"Stephen Donnelly can publish as many plans as he wants, but without adequate funding to increase capacity they are just meaningless words on paper."

Sinn Féin welcome scrapping of disability Green Paper – @PaulineTullyTD and @Donnchadhol

"The government's Tory-like proposals were never a runner."

Load More