Sligo Champion

  • Farmers have withdrawn access to several walkways on rural mountains in South East Sligo in protest at what they see as unfair penalties for last year's gorse fires.

    The Sligo Champion reports that farmers erected signs recently saying "access to all mountain pathways will be withdrawn due to illegal burning".

    They say they're being forced to take action as they are being held responsible for the illegal burning of mountains in which they had no part and which was beyond their control.

    The farmers say they’re incurring very severe penalties .

    It's just over a year since three gorse fires ravaged Killery Mountain, Geevagh and Lough Easkey/Ox Mountains at a cost to Sligo County Council of approximately €125,000.

    Hundreds of acres of land were destroyed and a section of the Sligo Way boardwalk was damaged.

    The Department of Rural and Community Development funded repairs to the boardwalk last summer.

    However 33 farmers were notified by the Department of Agriculture that their Basic Payment would be reduced. They are awaiting the outcome of an appeal against this.