Contrary to public commentary, there has been no individual exemptions to the slurry spreading deadline, a memo sent to local authorities from the Department of Housing and Local Government, has said.

Fianna Fail TD Eamon Scanlon, quoting the memo in Dail Eireann today, said that Minister Coveney has not announced any extension to the deadline.

“Taoiseach, my colleague, Deputy McConalogue, the [Fianna Fail] Spokesman on Agriculture raised the issue of slurry spreading yesterday morning.

“You stated that individual cases could be looked at or facilitated particularly in areas where conditions have been very severe.

“Yesterday, the Department of the Environment sent out a memo to all County Councils in the country.”

Quoting the memo, Scanlon said that the Department would like to remind local authorities that the closed season for slurry spreading commenced on last Saturday October 15.

Contrary to some localised public commentary, the Minister has not announced any extension to the spreading period or any individualised exemptions.

“It has come to the Department’s attention that enquires from farmers in relation to an extension have been received by some district veterinary offices.

“As the responsible authority, any such queries should be forwarded to the relevant local authorities for their attention.”

Scanlon then called on the Taoiseach, to ask the Minister to come in and to clarify this issue, once and for all – as people were being made fools of.

In response, An Taoiseach asked the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, to respond to the issue.

Speaking in the Dail, the Minister said that the situation is that the deadline for spreading of slurry closed on October 15.

“The situation as it would apply now, in emergency circumstances, the Department is in a position to accommodate farmers who make contact with the Department through its emergency contact procedures which are on the Department’s website.”

On the issue of an extension to the deadline, Minister Creed said that it is an issue for the Department of the Environment and not his own Department.