Cork farmers legal fund up to €50,000 – more needed says Fitzmaurice

A group of farmers have raised €50,000 towards its €100,000 aim to take a legal case against the Department of Agriculture.

However, Roscommon-South Leitrim TD Michael Fitzmaurice told them recently that they would need even more money than the projected €100,000.

The farmers are taking a case against the Department over land eligibility and the associated penalties.

Group organiser Dermot Kelleher told an ICSA meeting in Roscommon recently that the group had started less than six months ago and has funds of €50,000 raised to date.

He said farmers on marginal land are being told “by people who don’t understand” that there is a way of farming this type of land.

“If they stay going the way they are going, they will be paying millions to get farmers back along peninsulas and marginal land.”

Kelleher said that some 33,000 farmers are being affected. He said the fines are targeted against farming families on marginal land.

He said the group is asking farmers for €50 or €100 to raise a fund in the event the case is not successful.

“The case is being taken for free, but if the case is thrown out we may have to pay costs.

“We have €50,000 gathered in few months, but we need €100,000.”

All contributions will be issued with an receipt, he said, and those who contribute will be given the option of a refund when the case is won.

However, Michael Fitzmaurice said the group would need more than €100,000.