Last night in the Dáil, Mayo Sinn Féin TD, Rose Conway-Walsh got confirmation from the Minister for Agricultire on the issue of turbary rights for ACRES participants on commonage lands.
Deputy Conway-Walsh said:
“I have been working on this issue with my colleague Claire Kerrane TD for weeks now regarding the impact of domestic turf cutting on ACRES eligibility and scoring for farmers with commonage land.
“Finally, after submitting a topical issue in the Dáil I have received the following confirmation:
“The Department and Co-operation teams are conscious that active turf-cutting could have a disproportional impact on scores on commonage, and to ensure that ACRES participants on commonage lands are rewarded for their environmental ambition, my Department is now proposing that non-turbary and turbary areas are scored independently of each other.
“This also means that turbary rights on commonages are unaffected if the shareholder wishes to proceed with that activity. In doing so, any scoring related to active turbary will be confined to those sub-units of active turbary, thereby allowing the vast majority of commonage land to be assessed independently of turbary, where such right exists. ACRES farmers will be paid in full for their combined score on non-turbary and turbary areas subject to scheme ceilings.”
“I want to thank the Minister for Agriculture for taking on board the concerns I expressed to him over the past six weeks. This will now enable farmers and those with turbary rights to get on with their work at what is their busiest time of year.”