In 2015, all farmers will be strongly urged to ensure that all of the land that they Basic Payment Scheme declare is eligible and is farmed by them, according to Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney.

He said the entitlements established under the Basic Payment Scheme will be based on the eligible hectares declared in 2015.

In order to protect their payments in the subsequent years, farmers should exclude all ineligible areas from their declarations, the Minister said.

He added in that case, the newly established entitlements will be supported by land which is eligible for payment in order to draw down their full payment entitlement in 2015 and subsequent years.

Minister Coveney highlighted that this would also reduce the risk of further financial corrections in the future.

This year following consultation with the EU Commission, as part of the normal Accounting process, the Department of Agriculture was requested to undertake a complete review of the LPIS database.

The Minister said the on-going review is of major significance as the Commission is seeking to disallow €181m of funding to Ireland relating to payments over the past five years.

The fine is currently the subject of an Irish appeal to the EU Conciliation Body.