IFA Connacht Regional Chair Pat Murphy is calling on the Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue and his department to clarify future payment plans around the newly announced Shass Mountain Landslide Aid Package.
Following a devastating landslide that took place at Shass Mountain, Co. Leitrim in June 2020, over 36 hectares of agriculture and forestry land was covered in C.160,000 tonnes of peat and vegetation, rendering it unworkable and destroying farming structures and forestry plantations.
The Department estimated that the recovered costs would exceed €20m, and today’s announcement allocated €500,000 towards an aid package for those impacted. In total, 19 BPS applicants and land owners along with 4 forestry contract holders are eligible, and a ceiling of €20,000 per applicant has been outlined.
“The announcement of this aid package is a positive step, but the Minister and his department must come forward to clarify what the department is planning after this aid package,” Pat Murphy said.
“These farmers and landowners need to be ensured of a sustainable future income, the department must come forward with a scheme that allows this to take place,” he said.
The scheme contains the following measures:
1. Payment in recognition of the hardship caused by the landslide – €5,000 each to 19 BPS applicants and 4 Forest Contract Holders.
2. Payment in respect of the value of agricultural land – €12,355 per ha or part thereof, to manage the land in an environmental manner i.e. to not remove the overspill peat and debris.
3. Fencing off of overspill area on agricultural land – €6.75 per linear metre + €343.85 for access gateways.
4.Forest reconstitution – €4,500 per ha; €3,500 payable in year 1, €1,000 payable in year 4.