The Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) is seeking a deadline extension for farmers affected by summer flooding along the Shannon Callows to apply for the €325/ha support scheme announced earlier this month.
The association claims that there are farmers affected by the floods who have yet to be contacted by the Department of Agriculture or have received the forms needed to express interest in applying for the scheme.
The deadline for applying for the €325/ha in funding was Monday night (27 November), which was around three weeks after the funding was announced.
IFA president Tim Cullinan has stated that more time is needed to allow farmers to apply and to ensure all affected lands are eligible for the one-off supports.
“We are also hearing there may have been some IT issues where not all impacted sites were correctly identified. At a minimum, the Department need[s] to push out the deadline so everybody can apply,” Cullinan said.
“We have raised the issues with the Department, but there has been no resolution yet. A degree of pragmatism and fairness needs to apply here.”
Thousands of acres
The IFA leader said that thousands of acres of hay and silage were left unharvested when the River Shannon burst its banks at a time when fodder would usually be made.
“It’s important that all impacted farmers get access to this scheme and that the funding is released as soon as possible and that the conditions to apply are not too onerous,” Cullinan reiterated.
“In the longer term, an agency must be established which would include local farmers to manage the River Shannon to rectify the problems. This must be established without delay and cannot be put on the long finger anymore,” he added.