Cork farmers received biggest share of single farm payment

Schools, stud farms and meat processors among the recipients of EU farm payments last year

Schools, stud farms and meat processors were among the recipients of the EU single farm payment scheme last year, according to figures published by the Department of Agriculture.

The figures were published on the Department of Agriculture's website on Saturday morning to comply with an EU regulation giving information on payments in EU-funded schemes. The database is searchable by name and county but it does not provide the recipient's full postal address. Instead it gives the municipal district where the person lives. Included in the payments are stud farms, such as Kildangan Stud, which received the second highest single farm payment in Kildare, at €153,119.50, Clongowes Wood College farm which received almost €41,000 and agricultural colleges, such as the Salesian-run college in Pallaskenry which received more than €119,000.

The payments are made under the EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) on condition that farmers look after the farm land and meet environmental, animal welfare and food safety standards. The single farm payment scheme accounts for the majority of EU farm subsidy payments. According to Teagasc, the average subsidy payment received by farmers last year was €18,859 and the single farm payment accounted for €13,849 of that.

The figures published by the Department of Agriculture show a great variation in payments. In Cork, some 294 farmers received a single farm payment of more than €50,000 while in Leitrim just eight farmers received more than €50,000.


Cork topped the list when it came to the amount of money paid out under the single farm payment scheme. Some 12,763 farmers received €164,196,731 under the scheme. After Co Dublin, Leitrim was at the bottom of the table when it came to these payments. Some 3,431 farmers in the north western county received €18,406,587.

Anita O’Leary, wife of Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary received more than €12,400 in a single farm payment for Gigginstown farm. The airline boss sporadically threatens to retire to the farm in Mullingar.

Several farms owned by meat processors feature among the highest single farm payments. The farm owned by meat processor Kepak in Co Meath received €257,482.67 under the single farm payment scheme last year. John and Peter Queally of Dawn Meats in Co Waterford received €245,883. The highest single farm payment made in Co Louth was €236,816.62 and was made to Branganstown Farms Ltd, owned by the family of ABP's Larry Goodman. His son Mark Goodman is a co-director of Glydee Farms Ltd which received the second single farm payment in Louth - €230,768.40.

Farm organisations have criticised the decision to publish the names of farmers and details of their payments, claiming it is breaching their privacy and could leave them vulnerable to burglaries. However, a spokeswoman for the department said member states had no discretion in the matter and were required to publish the information on or before May 31st.

“Farmers are fully entitled to draw down these funds as part of the CAP but as public money is involved, details of how these funds are spent are being published,” she said.

Walter Furlong from the municipal district of Enniscorthy topped the list of single farm payments for the period October 16th 2013-October 15th 2014, receiving €367,648.88. He was followed by O'Shea Farms, in Piltown, Co Kilkenny which received €316,144.49. Tipperary farmer John Baptist Doyle received €309,610.92, followed by Co Kildare farmer Thomas Morrin who received €300,013.13. Patrick Reynolds from Navan completed the top five with a single farm payment of €260,805.52.

Single farm payments by county

Cork €164.2 million

Tipperary €100.6 million

Galway €80 million

Wexford €62.4 million

Kerry €57.9 million

Mayo €57.5 million

Kilkenny €52.8 million

Limerick €51.2 million

Meath €50.7 million

Donegal €46.7 million

Clare €47.3 million

Roscommon €37.6 million

Waterford €36.9 million

Laois €35.9 million

Westmeath €35.1 million

Cavan €34.3 million

Offaly €33.2 million

Kildare €32.4 million

Monaghan €29.5 million

Carlow €27.4 million

Wicklow €26.2 million

Sligo €22.5 million

Louth €20.5 million

Longford €20.3 million

Leitrim €18.4 million

Dublin €11 million

*for the period October 16th 2013-October 15th 2014

Top ten payments made under the single farm payment scheme

Name Municipal District Amount

1. Walter Furlong Enniscorthy €367,648.88

2. O'Shea Farms Piltown €316,144.49

3. John Baptist Doyle Cashel-Tipperary €309,610.92

4. Thomas Morrin Athy €300,013.13

5. Patrick Reynolds Navan €260,805.52

6. Kepak Farm Ratoath €257,482.67

7. Terence Coughlan Ltd Fermoy €248,303.72

8. John & Peter Queally Tramore-Waterford City West €245,883.17

9. Thomas Codd Wexford €245,358.32

10. Cyril Goode Arklow €241,530.85

*for the period October 16th 2013-October 15th 2014

Alison Healy

Alison Healy

Alison Healy is a contributor to The Irish Times