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Conway-Walsh calls for PAC to examine impact of unjust Agricultural Inspections

12 July, 2016 - by Rose Conway-Walsh

In the wake of the High Court case taken by a Co Tipperary farmer, An Seanadóir Rose Conway-Walsh has called on Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed to come before the house to inform it of the action he is going to take to put right the injustice that has been done to many farmers across this state.

Speaking on the issue in the Seanad today, the Mayo Senator said:

“It is very clear that the Department of Agriculture have flaunted their own rules and procedures and it has not been confined to Tipperary.

“It is very clear now that ANY farmer that has had an inspection and without the signing of a control report must now have their money, interest and costs reimbursed immediately.  Furthermore, it is imperative that their entitlements be reinstated so as not to affect payments in the future.

“The agriculture appeals office also has questions to answer her. Instead of being an independent appeals office they are endeavouring to justify the actions of the Department of Agriculture.

“It is very clear that the constitutional rights of farmers right across this state were breached. It is unacceptable that the Department of Agriculture has not yet commented on this development. We need leadership from the Department. This is Minister Creed’s job! It is appalling that farmer families have had to go before the courts to assert their rights.”

Senator Conway-Walsh added that there may be scope for an Oireachtas committee to examine the possible repercussions of a wave of appeals and court cases taken on the back of this recent High Court ruling.

“I strongly suggest that this matter be examined by the Public Accounts Committee because of the wider implications of the potential costs involved.” 

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