We brought you the news yesterday of Ireland’s leading figures in the tillage sector and leading farmers occupying the Department buildings over lower compensation figures.
They set about trying to obtain a meeting with Department officials through the sit-in protest, but as of yet the Department are refusing to meet with them.
The rage amongst the Tillage sector came after farmers were previously promised up to €15,000 in compensation for last years bad yields ad harvest.
Figures released yesterday showed that the maximum compensation will be €5,00 rather than the €15,000 which has left many farmers stuck in a limbo.
Michael Fitzmaurice TD had his say on the matter, and dubbed the sit-in protest as the correct thing to do.
He called on Minister Creed to make an immediate statement over the matter, and says he supports all those protesting their case at the Department offices.
He said,"I am calling on Minister Michael Creed to make an immediate statement on the details of the Tillage Farmers Compensation Scheme amid rumours that a limit of 5,000 Euro per farmer is set to be announced. I support the farmers who protested overnight at the offices of the Department of Agriculture and unless this matter is solved to the satisfaction of farmers I would support more protests".
The Independent TD for Roscommon-Galway, Michael Fitzmaurice, also added that the scheme has already been held up enough, and stated that the previous figure of €15,000 would still not have been enough to help the struggling sector.
He said, "This compensation scheme has already been held up for months and we were told in recent weeks that there would be a pay-out limit of 15,000 Euro per farmer which would not have been enough to compensate some farmers whose crops were ruined but now a suggestion of a limit of 5,000 is totally unacceptable and derisory amount in many cases.”
He followed up by calling on a commitment from the minister to these farmers immediately, “Tillage farmers affected by this crisis have been treated very poorly by the Government and I am asking Minister Creed for a realistic commitment to be made to these farmers immediately".
He continued by saying this ministers refusal to speak has been a disgrace , "Having attended the ongoing protest being held by grain and tillage farmers at the Department of Agriculture today, it is disgraceful that Minister Michael Creed will not meet the farmers and show some interest in the situation.!"
"Farmers have far more to be doing than staging protests at the busiest time of the year and once again I am calling on the Minister to intervene immediately and come up with with a realistic compensation scheme for affected tillage farmers, Failing that I am calling on farmers affected particularly those from the West of Ireland to join the protest because there is strength in numbers a solution must be arrived at as soon as possible" he concluded.