Calls for the appointment of an Ombudsman for Agriculture have been made by one Longford County Councillor this week.
North Longford Area Representative, Cllr John Duffy (FG) is set to move a motion on the matter at this weekâ€™s local authority meeting in the town. He has proposed that Longford Co Council write to the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD â€œcalling on him to appoint an independent and above reproach Ombudsman for Agricultureâ€.
According to Cllr Duffy the appointment is necessary, because of a recent case involving a farmer in Co Cavan. â€œIt is very necessary in view of the recent case taken by special investigation unit against a farmer in Co Cavan,â€ he said, adding that the matter eventually concluded in the High Court with â€œtotal vindication for the farmerâ€. â€œVery few farmers are in a position to contest the findings of the Department regarding reductions in their payments due to penalties, and any appeal by a farmer is dealt with by a colleague of the person who sanctioned the penalisation.â€