To facilitate receipt of applications the Single Payment Unit of the Department, based in Portlaoise, will be open to the public tomorrow (Thursday) from 9am to midnight.

Today, the office also has extended opening hours till 9pm. Farmers are being reminded that they have now only tw0 days to return their Single Farm Payment application forms to the Department of Agriculture.

The Single Payment Unit of the Department have extended opening hours to cope with late applications as the deadline looms.

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney emphasised the importance of farmers ensuring that they lodge their applications by this date, in order to avoid late penalties that must be applied under EU rules.

“Unfortunately quite a number of applications are received after May 15 deadline each year and in some of these cases it is not possible to make any payment. Such penalties can easily be avoided simply by ensuring that applications are submitted on time.”

The Department has also resorted to texting reminders to farmers who have yet to submit their applications.