Fianna Fáil is calling for the process of applying for the Farm Assist Scheme to be simplified, arguing that farmers shouldn’t be “slowed down by red tape”.

Charlie McConalogue, the party’s spokesperson on agriculture, food and the marine, said that members of the party regularly meet farmers who have been “thrown” by the application process.

He added that this process is becoming an “ordeal” for farmers.

My constituency office, and my colleagues in Fianna Fáil, are regularly meeting with members in the farming community who have been thrown by the farm assist payment forms.

“These convoluted forms, with all the requirements within, are a yearly ordeal for farmers,” argued the Donegal TD.

McConalogue also called for Regina Doherty, Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, to examine how the current application process operates in order to relive some of the burden on farmers.

“The minister must instruct her department to review this form to ensure the farm assist application is a swift and simple process for those in the farming community,” he insisted.

Earlier this month, McConalogue spoke in a Dáil debate, where the issue of Brexit was hotly discussed.

“There is nothing compared to the pressure the sector will be under in the case of a hard Brexit,” he argued.

“Support from [Minister Michael Creed] needs to be forthcoming immediately. There is capacity for this given the permitted increase in the minimum state aid from €15,000 to €25,000. In particular, the minister should work with the European Commission to ensure immediate support for our beef sector, which is already suffering,” McConalogue argued.