Fianna Fáil TD for Louth Seamus Kirk has called on Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney to extend the deadline for the Farm Safety Grant.

Representative organisations such as the ICSA have pointed out that the original deadline of August 31st is too ambitious and could result in farmers missing out on the vital grant.

Deputy Kirk commented, “The original deadline of August 31st was far too tight and many farmers have reported that they will be unable to get the work completed in time. The Department of Agriculture was slow to inform applicants that they had the go ahead to carry out the work, and many farmers were not informed until late spring and early summer.

“The problem is also heightened given the fact that builders, suppliers and their staff traditionally take their holidays in early August. Farmers who want to partake in the scheme are being left in limbo at the moment as they cannot access supplies or hire people to carry out the necessary works.

“In light of this I am calling on Minister Coveney to extend the deadline beyond August 31st to allow farmers comply with the conditions of the grant scheme. So far this year we have already had a higher than average number of tragic accidents on our farms. The Government needs to ensure that everything is done to make farms safe, and extending the deadline of this vital scheme will help achieve that” said Deputy Kirk.