INHFA welcomes Ministers positive response but warns that major work has still to be done on finalising the Sheep Scheme

L to R Henry O’Donnell, Donegal, Steven Lally Mayo, Vincent Roddy, National Chair, Minister Michael Creed, Colm ODonnell Sligo, Brendan OMalley, Galway

The INHFA has welcomed the positive response from Minister Creed to questions in the Dáil, where he stated “that he is prepared to consider, on a case-by- case basis, a rolling reference year for commonage and young farmers in the proposed sheep scheme.

As the only farming organisation actively seeking this rolling reference year to be included in the scheme, Brendan Joyce stated “that while the scheme is far from perfect, it is good to see that the Minister is responding positively to our requests on this. However, Mr Joyce added that it is vital to ensure that the scheme is workable for all farmers. Further consultations with the stakeholders is required before a final draft is sent to Brussels for ratification.

Mr Joyce concluded that there are enormous differences between lowland and hill sheep farming, in terms of profitably. The costs incurred in carrying out any measure in Hill areas are much higher than in lowland situations and this should be reflected in the payment structure of any new scheme.