North Kilkenny Councillor Mary Hilda Cavanagh has greatly welcomed the extension of the 'Areas of Natural Constraint' scheme (formerly known as the Disadvantage Area scheme) to include many townslands in the Lisdowney and Tullaroan areas.
"For many years, I've been Minister to review the scheme and include areas that clearly should have qualified" she said. "I am delighted that the scheme changes have led to the inclusion of new areas without the loss of status anywhere else in Co Kilkenny.
"Farmers in these areas are really battling against the odds to make a living and weather conditions in recent years have been appalling, exacerbating already difficult circumstances. Inclusion in this scheme will mean new payments which will help local farmers get through what has been one of the most difficult and challenging years for farmers in my lifetime. The March snow, heavy April rain and unprecedented summer drought brought challenges unknown in the last 40 years."
Councillor Cavanagh went on to thank the land owners of North Kilkenny for trimming their road side ditches.
"Despite taking a huge financial hit in 2018, landowners have made the roads much safer for all. They are to be commended on which benefits everyone".