Sinn Féin spokesperson for Agriculture, Claire Kerrane TD, has urged Minister McConalogue to set out details of his Department’s proposed scheme for Forgotten Farmers.
Teachta Kerrane raised the matter with the Minister in the Dáil this morning during Priority Questions and queried when details on the long-awaited scheme would be outlined.
Speaking today, Teachta Kerrane said:
“The cohort of young Farmers known as the Forgotten Farmers have been repeatedly told that a scheme is coming, yet they are still waiting. In recent months especially, we’ve seen kites flown that the details of what was on the table would be made known, this has not happened.
“The Minister had previously indicated that proposals would be made public in the first quarter of this year, that has now come and gone.
“Today, in response to me, the Minister stated that a ‘preliminary outline’ of the scheme to support Forgotten Farmers has already been prepared by his Department. He then went on to say that there are a number of options on the table.
“The Minister confirmed that he will be going back to his Department to seek an update on progress being made on this issue.
“When pushed for a timeframe, the Minister stated it will be a number of months. This is really unacceptable.
“I understand this is a complex issue and it is essential the Department get the details of the scheme right. Setting out the eligibility requirements and getting them right is critical.
“These Farmers have waited far too long for a solution and they are still waiting.
“These are Farmers who have already lost out financially, they have been left in limbo for years and they have been put in a really vulnerable position, with many left questioning whether they can hang on any longer.
“Details of the scheme must now be provided without delay.”