Eamon Carroll

ICMSA say positive ministerial signal on all TAMS Tranche 3 applications “counts for nothing” without formal approval.

Commenting on the announcement by the Minister of Agriculture, Food and the Marine that all TAMS Tranche 3 applications will be fully approved, the Deputy President of ICMSA, Eamon Carroll, said that while welcome, Minister McConalogue’s announcement counts for nothing without formal notices of acceptance being issued to the applicants concerned.  Mr. Carroll, who also serves as Chairperson of ICMSA Farm and Rural Affairs Committee, said that farmers would be unable to proceed until such formal notification was received and the delays involved – already ridiculous – would not be solved till those formal notifications were issued.

“The reality is that there are still applicants from Tranche 1 who have yet to receive formal approval despite the fact that their closing date was Summer 2023, and we know of cases where applications have been submitted for over a year.   The Department can take as long as they like to issue an approval while, at the same time, writing to some farmers with a query telling them to respond within 20 days or their application will be rejected in full.   This is the kind of complete double-standard that has made farmer interaction with the Department so fraught and irksome; there’s one rule for the Department and a second much more abrupt rule for the farmer, while the Minister continues to stall on concluding the Farmers Charter that might offer the farmers some protection.  How can the Minister stand over a system that has the Department giving the farmers 20 days while they take as long as they like for themselves? “asked Mr. Carroll.

“How can farmers have confidence to invest if the approval of their investments is delayed so long that the building price quotes contained are completely out of date?  Or the Nitrates regulations have changed in the time between the application and approval?”

Mr. Carroll said that the Department needed to prioritise staff to work through this backlog in the next two months and all Tranches 1 through 3 need to be approved “formally and in notification” by the end of June.    

Concluding, Mr. Carroll said that the four tranches scheduled for next year should be ‘set in stone’ per the ICMSA request in the new Charter of Farmers Rights.  He said it is imperative that the dates are on a quarterly basis and if that degree of certainty is established then farmers – and, just as importantly, their advisors – will respond with confidence. There was, however, no point in having certainty on tranche closing dates if approval can take up to a year to come through.   “This needs to stop and the Minister must address it immediately”, he said.

Ends      23 April 2024

Eamon Carroll, 087-6312945

Deputy President, ICMSA


Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758

ICMSA Press Office