A number of farmers in Co Kerry have received letters from the Department of Agriculture notifying them of penalties to their Basic Payment Scheme for having burnt land.

It is understood the penalties relate to land that was burned as part of the Killarney national park fire in April, which a Garda investigation concluded was not caused by farmers.

Not eligible

Land that is burned between the period of 1 March and 31 August of any given year is not eligible for payment under the Basic Payment Scheme, a Department of Agriculture spokesperson said.

“Farmers have been notified of same as part of the normal Department checks.

“Farmers have the right of review and appeal, which has been explained to them in the letters they received.

“No further information is available at this time, as processing continues on the 2021 Basic Payment Scheme.”

The Department of Agriculture could not provide details in relation to the penalty fines or the number of farmers affected as the Irish Farmers Journal went to print.