Details of the planned information meetings for commonage farmers to be hosted by his Department at a number of venues across the country have been announced by the Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney.

Minister Coveney said “I believe that a lot of progress has been made and the forthcoming series of meetings will help to reassure Commonage farmers and provide the clarity they have been seeking”.

The purpose of the meetings is to provide information on future requirements under the Basic Payment Scheme under Pillar I and the GLAS scheme under Pillar II of the CAP. The dates and venues are as follows:

30 September : Westport, Co. Mayo Knockranny House Hotel
30 September: Kenmare, Co. Kerry. Kenmare Bay Hotel
01 October: Maam Cross, Co. Galway Peacocke’s Hotel
02 October: Ardara, Co. Donegal Nesbitt Arms Hotel
02 October Glendalough, Co. Wicklow Glendalough Hotel

IFA Hill Committee Chairman Pat Dunne has welcomed the announcement of the meetings by the Minister.

However, Pat Dunne has also called for additional meetings to be held around the country to ensure that the Department of Agriculture facilitates the maximum number of farmers and explains the new rules.

Pat Dunne said, “It is essential that every effort is made by the Department to address farmers’ concerns and hold extra meetings where required”.

He encouraged farmers to attend the Department meetings and get information on the new commonage rules and the GLAS scheme.

The IFA Hill Chairman restated his call on Minister Coveney to get the GLAS scheme up and running as soon as possible, with the necessary flexibilities. “No barriers must be put in the way of the effective implementation of GLAS and early approval from the EU Commission is now urgently required. Also, the upcoming Budget is a real test of the Government’s commitment to the new GLAS scheme as adequate funding must be provided so that payments can be made in 2015.”