LISTEN: IFA President Joe Healy on farm payments and the recent IFA settlement

The head of the IFA says it’s ‘unacceptable’ that farmers in Sligo and Leitrim are still waiting for payments on land burnt on Killery mountain last summer.

A group of the over 30 farmers affected have met and launched an appeal through the IFA.

Minister Michael Creed recently confirmed that his department had used the latest satelite and up-to-date technology to determine that the fires were of an illegal nature.

Speaking in Sligo last night, the President of the IFA Joe Healy says farmers have appealed the decision of the department not to pay them.

He says he’s confident of a positive outcome to the appeals process:

Mr. Healy was speaking to Ocean FM News ahead of the Sligo AGM in Ballisodare last night.

He also defended the €1.9m settlement paid out to the former General Secretary of the organisation Pat Smith saying it was damage limitation and avoided what could have otherwise been a very lengthy legal battle.

He said the decision was not only taken on legal advice but also because IFA members wanted the organisation to settle.

He says while members have their own opinions on what happened, the IFA remains strong and he insists it has not affected the membership of the organisation.

He outlined in detail to Ocean FM News the reasons for the settlement: