February 28, 2024
Minister must publish Forgotten Farmers proposal immediately – Claire Kerrane TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Agriculture, Claire Kerrane TD, has called on Minister McConalogue to publish details of a proposed solution for the group known as ‘Forgotten Farmers’ immediately.

Teachta Kerrane queried the Minister in the Dáil last week on the delay publishing proposals for a solution, which are long-awaited. In his response the Minister confirmed that his Department has commenced with ‘setting up the system’ for a scheme.

However, no information has been provided to date on what such a scheme will look like and when it can be expected to be introduced, never mind setting up the system internally.

Teachta Kerrane said:

“I have raised the need for the Minister to publish his proposal for a solution for the group known as ‘Forgotten Farmers’ for some time now.

“He had previously stated that he would publish details of a proposal in Q1 of 2023. This never materialised, despite his recognition that these farmers have waited long enough.

“When I have queried him in recent months, I have received assurances that details of a proposed scheme will be published in the near future. Again, no further information has been provided to myself or to the affected farmers.

“The Minister has now advised that his Department is setting up a system to deliver a scheme for the Forgotten Farmers. When I queried him in the Dáil last week on what the scheme will look like he could not give me detail other than that his Department is carrying out a new assessment.

“While any progress in this area is welcome and long-overdue, it is important that the Minister publish details of a proposed scheme – particularly given how long these farmers have waited for a solution to be provided.

“I recognise that systems need to be in place to administratively deliver a scheme, but in the meantime he must let us know what it will look like, which farmers will be eligible, and a timeframe for when it will be introduced.

“The Minister also advised in his reply that he will have to engage with the Minister for Public Expenditure on a money allocation for these farmers.

“As I have said before, these ongoing delays are frustrating these farmers, some of whom are considering their future in farming.

“There is no detailed scheme, no money and no timeline, well over a decade after this issue came to light.

“The Minister must provide a published outline of his proposed scheme for the Forgotten Farmers, and I am calling on him to do so immediately.”

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