Farmers out in cold

Farmers spent all night queuing outside government offices in several towns last night hoping to get grants which are to be distributed on a “first come first served” basis. Unfortunately Michael Mann, a spokesman for the Agriculture Commissioner, said the department’s methods were “unacceptable” and broke EC rules. The BBC are reporting him saying: “When it comes to modernisation methods like the ones we are talking about in the Northern Irish case, the rules say that you have to make the decision on who gets the money based on clear criteria,
“We have been in contact with the Northern Ireland authorities and told them that a first come, first served basis is not an acceptable way of doing this.”
Ms. Gildernew has defended her actions saying “Brussels knew what we were doing, they knew there was a selection criteria – this is not a matter of turning up and saying ‘give me five grand’… As far as I’m concerned our officials have been working throughout this, and I think that we will be able to proceed with this process and I don’t think there will be any difficulty.”

This level of chaos is in fairness nothing like as impressive as the mess Ruane has managed to make of education, however, I suppose after unregulated academic selection Sinn Fein may now be trying unregulated grant application?

  • joeCanuck

    Tut tut; unfair, Turgon.
    The criteria, or should I say criterion, is very clear: First come, First served.
    And if any farmers who have camped out in the cold all night are now to be told “Hey, it was just a simple mistake”, then they might find that they have to relocate those big piles of manure out the back.

    BTW, if anyone thinks that this is an encouragement to acts of public mischief or vandalism, then of course I would want to apologise.

  • rosebud

    ‘Farmers out in cold’

    Aren’t they meant to be out in the cold anyway?

  • joeCanuck

    No Rosebud. They are supposed to be outstanding in their field.

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    Saw this report on the main BBC news last night, broadcast throughout the UK.
    There was a hint of portraying the NI farmers as beggars which was very unfair. And it was somewhat patronising of NI rural folk.
    The image of the chap who was first in the queue to recieve the 5 grand, walking up the town with his armchair and blankets in hand and very muddy wellies looked something from a bygone era, which the report sought to emphasize.