Farmers affected by the 2020 landslide in Shass, Co Leitrim, need clarity on whether lands that have been damaged beyond their previous agricultural use will be eligible for direct payments, the Irish Natura and Hill Farmers’ Association (INHFA) has said.

This week, the Department of Agriculture announced a funding package to compensate farmers affected by the landslide, but concerns over the allocation of funds between the farmers have been cited by INHFA Leitrim representative Patsy Daly.

“It seems unfair that one farmer with 2ha gets €20,000, while another farmer with 4ha also gets €20,000,” Daly said.

“We are unable to recommend a scheme which requires applicants to accept that the affected lands will no longer be eligible for future CAP payments.”

Meeting officials

The INHFA has claimed that the Department has committed to seeking clarity from the European Commission on the eligibility status of the lands regarding 2023 CAP payments.

Daly also stated that the INHFA would push for clarity on its end when meeting with EU officials next week.

“In this regard, an INHFA delegation will use meetings with the European Commission in Brussels next Tuesday to press the absolute necessity of the affected lands being made eligible for CAP payments,” he added.

“Otherwise, affected farmers would never again be able to derive any income from these lands and that is simply not acceptable.”

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