Reports over the past week have emerged that one in four farmers in County Galway have recieved a penalty after being inspected by the Department of Agriculture is very disappointing to hear and a new yellow card system is needed to pevent this situation happening.

When we were in the talks for the formation of a Government last year it was agreed that there needed to be some kind of a yellow card system introduced to give a farmers three weeks or a month to get things in order after an inspection. This is especially needed in County Galway and in the West of Ireland where the majority of farmers recieve very small single farm payments compared with other parts of the county.

It is alarming to see that 25% of farmers are getting penalties when you analyse the figures for other parts of the country which are not nearly as high. Count Galway and the West of Ireland is totally different to the rest of the country with the amount of mountains, hills, marginal land and boggy type soils and only some good land, and the codes used does not always fit the categories.

Somethng needs to be sorted out on this issue as soon as possible. It is embarrassing for the West and Co Galway to be penalised more than anywhere else. I would like to know if the same type of inspections are being carried out all over the country or is County Galway getting different treatment.

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