Deputy Michael Colreavy, Sinn Féin TD for Sligo/North Leitrim and Padraig Fallon, Sinn Féin Representative for the Droimahaire area, recently met with local farmers to address concerns faced by farmers in Leitrim.
Speaking after the meeting Deputy Colreavy said: “There are a number of issues that farmers in Leitrim have raised with me concerning the state of agriculture in the local area. Many of these farmers have been adversely affected by the changes to the Disadvantaged Area Scheme. In last year’s budget, the Minister for Agriculture outlined changes to the stocking rate required for farmers to receive the disadvantaged area payment. This had a disproportionate impact on farmers in the Leitrim area. Other issues that farmers raised with me were the short notice they receive before farm inspections and penalties for having rushes and blackthorn on their land.”
Local representative, Padraig Fallon stated: “Many farmers are worried about CAP negotiations. For many years farmers in the west, especially in counties such as Leitrim, have not received a fair deal from CAP. In any CAP reform the Minister for Agriculture must ensure that farmers in Leitrim receive a fair deal from CAP. The plight of young farmers was also raised as several young farmers are having difficulty attaining a quota from the National Reserve. Some farmers also raised concerns about the use of satellite inspections of farmers as they believe they are used as an excuse to delay payments.”
Deputy Colreavy added: “Farmers also raised the issue of hydraulic fracturing or ‘fracking’ with me, as they had major concerns about the impact that this process would have on agriculture in the area. The use of ‘fracking’ is likely to wreak havoc on the Leitrim farms due to the destructive nature of the extraction of gas. Farmers in Leitrim wish to see a total ban on ‘fracking’ in Ireland.”