Fianna Fáil Agriculture Spokesperson Charlie McConalogue has hit out at the Government for sending mixed messages to farmers about slurry spreading.
Deputy McConalogue explained, “Yesterday in the Dáil, I asked the Taoiseach to allow farmers some flexibility to spread slurry past the October 15th deadline given the recent sever weather conditions. He told the House that farmers would be “treated on a case-by-case basis”.
“Despite this commitment from the Taoiseach, the Department of Housing, Planning, Community & Local Government has since informed all Directors of Services in local authorities that no such individual exemptions are to be permitted, and that farmers should contact their local authority with any queries.
“This afternoon, Agriculture Minister Michael Creed told the Dáil that “the Department is in a position to accommodate farmers who make contact with the Department through its emergency procedures”, on a case by case basis.
“The Minister cited the Department of Agriculture website, but no emergency procedures are live on the website at the moment. This is an appalling situation.
“Farmers across the country are genuinely distressed about the current situation. Now they’re receiving conflicting messages from different Government departments. This is ridiculous – there seems to be a complete breakdown in simple communication between Ministers and it’s time that they got their act together.
“All farmers are asking for is some flexibility. It hasn’t been an issue in Northern Ireland and I cannot understand why the same rules cannot apply here”.