Almost 8,000 low-income farmers and fishermen got social welfare assistance from the state last year.

Mayo, Donegal and Galway had the highest numbers.

Farm Assist is a payment to low-income farmers, capped at 208 euro per week.

Fianna Fáil TD Eamon Ó Cuiv says there are specific criteria you have to meet to qualify for the payment.

The Rural Social Scheme is a similar support, aimed at low-income farmers and fishermen.

The Department of Social Protection says 5,004 people benefitted from Farm Assist last year , and 2,981 were on the Rural Social Scheme.

1,356 people in Mayo were on either scheme - the highest in the country.

That's followed by Donegal, on 1,272.

Then it's Galway, on 874.

Only six farmers or fishermen in Dublin were on either scheme last year.