The number of agricultural appeals received by the Agriculture Appeals Office rose by 42% from 2019 to 2021, bringing the number to 809 last year, Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue stated.

This rise in the volume of appeals, when combined with the temporary suspension of oral hearings during COVID-19 restrictions, increased the time taken for appeals to be processed by the independent office.

“These increases and the many challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021, which resulted in oral hearings not being held for large periods of time, resulted in a reduction of the number of agriculture appeals closed and an increase in the time to close appeals,” said Minister McConalogue in response to a question posed by Sinn Féin TD Matt Carthy.

The number of appeals closed last year rose to 757, up from 358 in 2020, with the minister saying that the easing of restrictions allowed for the backlog to be worked through.


The number of forestry-related appeals, which are also handled by the office, increased from 489 in 2019 to 874 in 2020, before seeing a “significant decrease” after the introduction of new forestry legislation that year, Minister McConalogue said.

Last year also saw a rise in the proportion of successful appeals relating to the Areas of Natural Constraint (ANC) scheme, figures cited by the minister suggest.

The share of successful ANC appeals as a proportion of total ANC appeals grew from 36% in 2020 to 47% last year.