Farmers have lost confidence in the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine over the delay in GLAS payments, according to the INHFA’s Vincent Roddy.

The delay in GLAS payments has left farmers frustrated, Roddy, who is the National Chair of the Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association (INHFA), said.

The association is calling on Oireachtas members to pass a motion compelling Minister Creed to instruct his Department officials to make the 85% payment, of GLAS and AEOS monies, to any farmer that has yet to receive it.

The non-payment of monies to over 6,000 farmers can no longer be tolerated and the time has come for our elected representatives to act on behalf of these farmers.

The INHFA has been in discussion with Department officials over the delay in payments, he added.

During these discussions, the INHFA were told the hold-up in payments has been caused by the mandatory checks the Department has to complete on each application.

Department officials told the INHFA that these checks were an EU requirement and, if breached, could cause conflict between Ireland and the EU auditors, Roddy said.

“Farmers should no longer have to suffer for the inability of the Department to carry out the work expected of them, or their inability to deliver a favourable deal in any EU Audit that put the interests of Irish farmers first.

“If our officials and public representatives cannot negotiate a pass with our EU masters on something as clear as this, what hope is there of these same people delivering a favourable deal under any Brexit negotiations,” he said.

Most farmers have lost confidence in Minister Creed and his officials over the delay in GLAS payments, the INHFA National Chair said.

There is also the possibility that payments could be months away for many farmers based on present processing rates, he added.

Elected representatives must now step up to the plate for farmers who are still awaiting payments, he added.