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High Court judgement points to need for independent appeals process for farmers – Kenny

30 July, 2016 - by Martin Kenny TD


Sinn Féin spokesperson for Agriculture Martin Kenny TD has said that the decision of the High Court to award €124, 000, plus most of his legal costs to a Tipperary farmer after his inspection proved to be “flawed” is significant for many farmers who feel aggrieved by Department decisions and believe that their appeals were not properly handled.

The Sligo-Leitrim TD continued:

“The decision of the High Court to award €124, 000, plus most of his legal costs to a Tipperary farmer after his inspection proved to be flawed is significant for many farmers who feel aggrieved by Department decisions and believe that their appeals were not properly handled. 

“The case may yet be appealed by the Department, but it will be interesting to see what defence can be made for not providing a control report after the inspection when that is a stated regulation according to EU procedure. 

“It is significant that the court ordered payment to the farmer of his withheld SFP, while allowing that the commonage portion of the land was not, in fact, eligible, further emphasising the court's recognition of the importance of procedure and conduct of appeals. 

“The whole issue points to the need for an appeals board which would be independent of the Department and which could hold the Department to account. 

“I hope to introduce legislation to that effect in the new term.” 

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