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Conway-Walsh Astounded by Fianna Fáil’s Failure to Support Hill Farmers Motion

10 May, 2017 - by Rose Conway-Walsh

Sinn Féin Senator Rose Conway-Walsh has criticised the lack of support from Fianna Fail and Fine Gael for a Sinn Féin motion seeking to improve the terms of the Areas of Natural Constraints (ANC) Scheme.

Speaking after the motion was defeated in a vote of the Seanad, Senator Conway-Walsh said:

“The Sinn Féin motion called on the Government to retain mountain sheep grazing as a separate category after the review of the ANC Scheme. It also called for payments to reflect the multiple bio-physical and specific constraints experienced by farmers who farm mountain type land, and for those payments to be set at similar rates to the current offshore islands rate.

“We also want to see the new ANC areas to be published in time to have a proper consultation before they are sent in draft to the EU.

“Of those who opposed and voted against the motion Conway-Walsh said: “this motion is based on months of cooperation and interaction with the Irish Natura and Hill Farmers association. It should not have come as a surprise to anyone or any group. Fianna Fáil attended many of these sessions and privately expressed support for these very measures. However when it came to solid action to help farmers, Fianna Fáil sided with their Fine Gael partners and relented on their previously stated

“This motion is a recognition of the dreadful position that hill farmers have been put in due to the land designation fiasco, the redistribution of ANC and the bureaucracy of GLAS. Hill farmers and commonage owners have been subjected to one attack after another. We in Sinn Féin forwarded a sensible solution today.  There are many parties who criticise Sinn Féin as a party of protest yet fail to support practical measures to alleviate the position of farmers.” 

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