More than half of all appeals made against the Department of Agriculture in 2020 were dismissed, the Agriculture Appeals Office annual report has shown.
The outcome of all agriculture appeals is as follows: 39% allowed, partially allowed or the Department decision was revised in favour of the appellant after the appeal was submitted; 51% of appeals disallowed; 10% of appeals withdrawn, invalid or received after the three-month deadline.
In 2020, there was a significant increase in the number of agriculture appeals received by the office, rising from 570 appeals in 2019 to 760, representing a 33% increase.
The office closed 358 agriculture appeal cases. This compares with 491 cases closed in 2019.
The number of forestry appeals received in 2020 also increased significantly, from 489 appeals in 2019 to 874 appeals in 2020, and are reported to have had a significant impact on available appeals officer resources and the administrative section.
The highest number of appeals was received in November 2020. The majority of those appeals concerned the Green Low-Carbon, Agri Environment Scheme (GLAS) and Beef Finisher Payment (BFP) scheme.
The highest number of appeals were received from Cork (69 appeals) and Galway (66) in 2020.
The number of appeals received in 2020 was highest for the GLAS at 17% and Areas of Natural Constraint (ANC) at 15%.