16 MARCH 2017
ICSA rural development chairman Seamus Sherlock has reiterated the association’s stance that an immediate interim payment should be made to all farmers with Hen Harrier designation. Mr Sherlock made his comments following the revelation that the introduction of the new €35m Hen Harrier scheme has been further delayed.
“ICSA understands that a delay has resulted due to a challenge from an unsuccessful tenderer for the scheme. While we are unaware of the merit or not of that challenge to the tendering process, it will no doubt take time to resolve and as such has left farmers in a more precarious position than ever. ICSA has been calling for an interim payment to be made while the scheme is put in place and this now needs to be made a priority.
Farmers have waited long enough to be compensated. We always knew that the scheme would take time to put in place but patience is running out. Many farmers are very aggrieved and feel completely abandoned at this stage. ICSA will be available to assist with the implementation of new schemes but our farmers must be assisted with an immediate payment to help ease the burden that designation has imposed upon their ability to make an income from their lands.”