Updated: 10/05/17 : 08:19:35
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GLAS delays threatening farms in North West - Mac Sharry

Fianna Fáil TD for Sligo-Leitrim Marc Mac Sharry has accused the Agriculture Minister of abandoning farmers following the release of new information which has revealed that more than 3,000 farmers are still waiting on their 2016 GLAS payments.

There are 383 farmers across Donegal, Sligo and Leitrim who have been approved for funding but who have still not been paid.

Deputy Mac Sharry commented, “This is completely farcical situation and is deeply unfair on small family farmers in the North West.  These essential payments are, in many cases, the difference between a farm remaining viable and going to the wall.  The delays which have been experienced over the past six months are practically unprecedented and are causing huge frustration and anxiety among farmers in the region.

“Unlike larger farms in the east of the country, the majority of farms in this region are small family run businesses.  Many of them have been put in an extremely precarious situation as a result of these delays.  Farmers make plans to carry out upgrades and improvements under the GLAS scheme, and take out loans in anticipation of the funding being paid out on time.  These farmers are now facing serious cash flow issues as a result of the delay in payments.

“Fianna Fáil has been highlighting these delays for months and Minister Michael Creed committed to ensuring that all payments would be made by the end of April.  The Minister has now reneged on his own promise, and has left thousands of farmers high and dry.

“The Minister’s refusal to accept responsibility for the hardship he has inflicted on small farmers is outrageous. The Minister and his officials cannot continue to ignore the anger that is being felt among farmers.  I will be raising this issue with him over the coming days and will be calling for guarantees on payment to be given,” concluded Deputy Mac Sharry.