Land has been left covered in peat
North Leitrim councillors have expressed their disappointment that a compensation package has yet to be provided for those farmers impacted by the landslide on Shass Mountain last June.
Despite a motion last year calling for compensation to be provided no offer has been made.
Cllr Mary Bohan said there appeared to be “no urgency” in the Department of Agriculture to sort compensation and said it should not be up to Leitrim County Council to seek compensation for those impacted.
“Thousands of tonnes of peat is sitting on farmers' land and there needs to be a package put in place. I don't think the Minister for Agriculture is moving fast enough on this and the answer he has provided for my previous motion seeking compensation, is not good enough,” she said.
The Fianna Fáil councillor said that farming organisations, Teagasc and the Minister need to meet with the farming community and organise compensation as a priority.
“These farmers have lost grazing and fodder and no end is in site,” she said.
Cllr Padraig Fallon backed her call and said that assurances were also needed on 2021 direct payments to farmers whose lands have been inundated.
This call was also supported by Cllr Justin Warnock who said that farmers needed assurance that their payments would not be penalised as a result of the landslide.
He said the 'force majeure' applied last year to those affected should be extended to cover payments this year, a suggestion which received unanimous support.
Cllr Frank Dolan however said councillors “shouldn't go scaremongering about this”.
“I think there is no doubt whatsoever that people will not be penalised (in their direct payments this year). It would be criminal if they were penalised for something they had no hand, act or part in and I don't believe they will be.”
Cllr Bohan suggested that the Manorhamilton Municipal District write back to the Minister for Agriculture calling for more urgency in the provision of a compensation package and that force majeure be extended to cover payments for 2021.