IFA Presidential candidate Francie Gorman has said the news that no cleared applicants will be paid until December 1st is “shattering confidence” amongst farmers in the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s ability to administer schemes and pay them on time.

Last month, the Department wrote to farmers stating that payments under various schemes, including ANC, BISS and ECO, would commence in the second half of October. The payment date has, however, been delayed by a further three weeks.

“Farmers have been informed today that no further cleared applicants will receive any payment until the start of next month,” said Gorman. “This is an unacceptable intrusion into the routine running of farmers’ businesses with commitments to be met at this time of the year, including payments to banks, merchants and Revenue. This shatters confidence in the Department’s ability to administer schemes and pay farmers on time.”

Gorman continued, “Separately, I have learned that the Department has written to 46 farmers in Achill, County Mayo, to inform them that their farm payments are being suspended due to a burning issue that occurred on the island last May. This is a devastating blow to these farmers whose income has already been hammered in one of the most difficult years in recent memory.”