Connacht Gold’s Padraig Gibbons, has been elected chairman of the new Disadvantaged Area Scheme Appeals Committee which will operate from Portlaoise.
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD, who appointed Mr Gibbons to the position, said that he was an able chairman who had noted experience in all aspects of the agri-sector, including in the operation of the Disadvantaged Areas Scheme (DAS).
Mr Gibbons, who runs a farm in Westport, is a prominent figure in Irish agriculture and has been a former President of the Irish Cooperative Organisation Society (ICOS), the coordinating body for the cooperative movement and is currently a member of the ICOS Board. He is also a member of the Boards of Teagasc and the National Dairy Council.
“This new Appeals Committee will deal with appeals from farmers who have applied for derogation from one element of the stocking density requirements of the 2012 DAS,” the Minister stated. “It will operate in an independent, fair, comprehensive and efficient manner and when proposals were being made to the EU Commission regarding changes to the terms and conditions governing the 2012 Scheme, I confirmed that provision would be made for those farmers adversely affected by the revised stocking density requirement to apply for derogation, on the basis of specific verifiable reasons.”
He went on to say that the processing of each of the individual applications was now well advanced, and the introduction of the Committee was one of huge importance. “It is appropriate that provision be made for an independent appeals process under the Chairmanship of Mr Gibbons, in order that those whose applications are not successful, may be afforded the opportunity to appeal their individual decision,” Minister Coveney concluded.