The current state of play is far from satisfactory from the perspective of any of the stakeholders. Although at first glance the situation might appear almost hopeless, there is hope that a solution is close. For the first time, the farmers and advisors are largely singing of the same hymn sheet. In response to Minister Coveney’s offer to consider any workable alternative to the Dept. of Agriculture proposals, we prepared a plan for a possible solution. This document has been widely circulated among stakeholders including farmer representatives, farm advisors, DAFM officials and political figures over the past two weeks. These proposals were based on the lessons learned during a set of case studies on six different commonages in Co.’s Donegal, Wicklow, Sligo, Mayo, Galway and Kerry and on discussions with farm leaders and farm advisors throughout the west and northwest. This study culminated in the publication earlier yesterday of a report on the prospects for the six selected commonages and the lessons that they have for the process nationally.
The recommendations made in this report are very similar to those that have been proposed by the ACA and are I feel broadly acceptable to hill farmers. They may offer a way out of the current difficulties that would be to the benefit of all concerned.
For the full report follow the link below.