The Independent TD has raised the issue on several occasions, saying that EU land designation is putting a “huge burden” on farmers and landowners.
“Letters being sent out by banks to farmers saying they will not accept designated lands as security is proof of that fact.” Said Fitzmaurice while speaking on the matter.
Fitzmaurice has said that government must act on the matter and continued by saying that farmers deserve compensation for something that they had “nothing to do with it the first place".
"Farmers are going into banks trying to raise money to improve or extend their holdings, but they are receiving letters like the one that I have here today which says that designated land will be accepted as security. The facts are that the designation of land by the EU, according to their regulations, and which were adopted by Ireland, is preventing farmers from earning their livelihood and it cannot be tolerated.” Fitzmaurice said.
Fitzmaurice said that he believes this will increase the flight from the land and it is a major disincentive to small farmers in particular.
"Everyone has an equal right to make a living out of the land they own, yet land that was designated by the EU with the blessing of the Irish Government and done without the consent of 99% of the owners of that land, is rendering the land worthless.”
A call for Action
Fitzmaurice has said that the letter he received will be forwarded to the Ministers for Finance, Agriculture, Rural Affairs and Arts Culture and The Gaeltacht. The Independent TD has called for this issue to be addressed and immediate action to be undertaken, which is “affecting so many small farmers throughout the country ".
"If farmers are not able to carry on their business because of land designation, then surely they are entitled to compensation for the burden that has been placed on them. “Fitzmaurice said.
Fitzmaurice has said that he is calling on the Government to “stand up and be counted on this important matter” and to defend the rights of the small family farmers throughout the country.
“I am also calling on farmers throughout the country to rally together because if this plea falls on deaf ears, it will have to be tackled in another way." Fitzmaurice concluded.