Payments worth €5.98m under the Hen Harrier, Pearl Mussel and other EIP projects have begun to roll out on Thursday, Minister of State in the Department of Agriculture Pippa Hackett has confirmed.

Habitat payments of approximately €4m will soon be made to farmers for the 2020 scheme year. It is also expected that €1.2m will be paid to 454 Pearl Mussel Project participants.

Payments of approximately €780k will be made to smaller EIP projects over the coming weeks.

Invaluable scheme

Twenty-three of these locally-led, results-based schemes are funded by the Department.

The Hen Harrier Project has seen the number of participants increase from 629 in year one to nearly 1,600 by the summer of 2020.

These farmers manage 37,000ha of land, representing over 65% of the total agricultural area of the special protection area (SPA) network for hen harriers.

Minister Hackett said: “This is an invaluable scheme for one of our most important native species. It is delivering real results in terms of bird numbers and we are very proud to be supporting this scheme.

“I’m delighted that numbers in the programme have increased so much this year and it is a great achievement by the project team that 84% of the farmers in the eight pearl mussel catchments are now participants."


Payments to farmers in the Burren Programme will be continued on a weekly basis from now on.

It is expected that more than €750k, representing 85% of the total due, will be paid to participating farmers in the form of habitat-based payments before the end of the year to the 328 farmer participants in the programme.

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