Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Agriculture, Éamon Ó Cuív TD has called on Minister Simon Coveney to ensure all monies owed to farmers under the Disadvantaged Area Scheme (DAS) are paid immediately.

Deputy Ó Cuív commented: “In response to a Parliamentary Question that I put down, the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney admitted that over 14,000 farmers still have not been paid their Disadvantage Area Scheme (DAS) payment for 2012.

“This is largely because of the unnecessary rule brought in by the Minister for this year, which imposed retrospective stocking densities on farmers in disadvantaged areas. This forced many farmers to seek a derogation from the Minister under these rules, based on ecological and other factors.

“Many farming families will struggle financially over Christmas because of the delay in the pay out of the DAS payment. Many farmers rely on this income to pay household bills.

“I now call on the Minister to ensure that all eligible applicants are paid without delay and that the processing of these applications would be expedited.

“Counties Donegal, Galway, Kerry and Mayo have over a thousand farmers in each that have not yet received their payments.

“The Minister will no doubt claim that 87% of farmers have been paid, but that is small consolation to the other 13% who are still awaiting their payment and are anxiously watching the post for notification that the payment has been made.

“I will continue to press the Minister on the whole issue of farm payments over the coming weeks and months, to ensure that farmers are paid the money owed to them on time.”