To date over 21,000 applications have been registered on the GLAS online system, of which more than 13,000 have already selected actions, according to the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney.

Both figures are increasing daily, he said.

The Minister said he has been been monitoring the uptake under the first tranche very closely.

Latest figures from the Department of Agriculture show that farmers from western counties dominate applications for the new GLAS scheme.

Over 55% of applications have been created to date by farmers from counties along Ireland’s western seaboard. This figure would increase to 63% if farmers applying from Cork are also included.

“With over 21,000 applications already registered and increasing daily, I believe the Department is well on the way to achieving its targets for 2015 as a whole.”

Minster Coveney has been accused of hiding behind his ministerial desk and refusing to be up-front on completed applications for the new GLAS scheme, by Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Agriculture Éamon Ó Cuív.

He said there has been considerable confusion among farmers applying to GLAS, especially when compared to the old REPS scheme.

“Farmers always knew where they stood with REPS – this is not the case with GLAS, he said.

“In a reply to my most recent parliamentary question to provide a county-by-county breakdown, Minister Coveney once again refused to give the number of completed GLAS applications.

“Instead, he has quoted the total number of applications.”