SIR – In 2013 and 2014 thousands of farmers in Ireland were hit with payment reductions and penalties based on findings by the Department of Agriculture that they had over-claimed on land which the Department deemed ineligible for payment under the then Single Payment Scheme and other schemes.
The ground which was classified as ineligible was often found on marginal or disadvantaged land – land which in a lot of cases had been actively farmed for many years and generations. These payment cuts put a big burden on farmers in disadvantaged areas.
In 2014, the Disadvantaged Farmers’ Legal Challenge group was formed and started a campaign to address these land ineligibility issues. After months of research, meetings, and fundraising, we put together a legal challenge, and in May 2017 we issued proceedings in the High Court which are ongoing.
As with many court cases, they are a lengthy and costly undertaking. Therefore, a big thank you and appreciation goes to our supporters for their great patience and belief in us, and we would like to remind the farming communities across the country that we have not gone away, we are not going away, and we will seek justice.
If you would like to receive further updates on our case or make a contribution, please contact [email protected], the Disadvantaged Farmers’ Legal Challenge secretary on 086 1292558, or the West Cork ICSA chairman Dermot Kelleher on 087 6799178.
Disadvantaged Farmers’ Legal Challenge,