CAP payments benefit farmers outside State

Department details show international applicants received funding from programme

 According to details of payments made through the Department of Agriculture, a number of international applicants have received funding under the Common Agricultural Policy programme. File photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

According to details of payments made through the Department of Agriculture, a number of international applicants have received funding under the Common Agricultural Policy programme. File photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

 

Payments made to farmers under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) have often been credited with keeping rural Ireland alive, but they are also boosting areas outside the State.

Details of payments paid through the Department of Agriculture show that 15 people outside Ireland received payments under the CAP programme, totalling €93,252.26, in the period October 16th, 2013 to October 15th, 2014.

Furthermore, 289 people in Northern Ireland received payments of more than €2.5 million in the same period.

Under the regulations, direct payments under support schemes can only be made to applicants whose land is situated in the member state where the application is made. However, there is no stipulation regarding the postal address of the farmer.

Farmers receive payments in return for looking after farm land and meeting environmental, animal welfare and food safety standards.

The figures have come to light following the obligation on all EU member states to publish details of CAP beneficiaries by May 31st. The details are published on the Department of Agriculture’s website.

The most far-flung recipient was James Buckley, with an address in the US. He received €10,765.34 under the single farm payment scheme and an environmental scheme.

Highest payment

Seamus FitzpatrickFrancis Molloy

Of the 289 farmers with addresses in Northern Ireland, the highest payment, more than €56,000, went to a Hilary Patterson in Co Tyrone.

Applicants with addresses in the Republic have claimed payments abroad. The UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs website shows that payments of £27,358.63 (€37,606.42) were made to farmers with addresses in this State.

The payments were all made through the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in Northern Ireland.