Hen Harrier Birds Animal

ICMSA critical as hen harrier payments head for “fourth delay”

The Deputy President of ICMSA has noted that the 2022 payments due to those farmers eligible under the Hen Harrier scheme are now headed towards their fourth delay. Denis Drennan, who also serves as chair of the association’s Farm & Rural Affairs Committee, said that numerous complaints have been received from the affected farmers and he said it “didn’t bode well” for the efforts being made by so many bodies to convince farmers that their efforts at preservation and biodiversity would be recognised and rewarded.

It’s a very straightforward chronology but quite concerning also: Hen Harrier payments were due to be paid out in December of 2022. They weren’t. Then they were promised in January. That didn’t happen either. Then February. Still no sign.  Now, as we head into March, farmers ringing are being told that it could be another three to four weeks before the payments are sent to the ‘Hen Harrier Team’ for onwards payments to the farmers. When farmers and our staff enquire about this latest delay – the fourth in four months – we are told that it’s down to ‘technical issues’, with no more elaboration than that. We don’t think that’s really acceptable and would just point out that if we are to look at these matters with the urgency which we are told is required, then we think that something like the same urgency would need to be shown by the DAFM when it comes to holding up their end of the deal.  The work has been done by the farmers, the T and Cs have been observed, and the results are there to be verified and measured. Now it’s time for the farmers to receive the payments due to them last December and there can’t be any more excuses.

Ends    24 February 2023

Denis Drennan, 086-8389401

Deputy President, ICMSA.


Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758

ICMSA Press Office