Battling hard for his coastal constituents, Cork East TD Kevin O’Keeffe has said that it is crucial that all tillage farmers in East Cork affected by adverse conditions are included in the proposed Tillage Crisis Fund.

Deputy O’Keeffe made the call after the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture agreed to write to the Minister for Agriculture and requested that tillage farmers affected by salt drift in Cork, are included in the scheme.

“At present, it appears that the Minister is not inclined to include these farmers in the compensation scheme. This is totally unfair, and would disproportionately affect East Cork farmers who lost their crops over the last number of years to salt drift.

“The loss of their harvest has put them in serious financial hardship, and being included in the compensation scheme would have given them breathing room and allowed them the space to trade out of their difficulties.

“Fianna Fáil members of the Oireachtas Committee sought approval from members for a letter to be sent to the Minister, and it was agreed at a meeting on June 27 last.

“It’s up to Minister Creed to make the final decision. Tillage farmers in Cork should be included in the scheme. It wouldn’t be fair, and it wouldn’t be right to exclude them,” concluded O’Keeffe.