Councillors raise concern for landowners adversely affected by Hen Harrier conservation rules

With thanks to photographer Shay Connolly   Up to 200 farmers in Kerry are having the value of their farms taken from them. That’s according to Independent Cllr Danny Healy Rae who was speaking in support of a motion by his son Cllr Johnny Healy Rae which was raising concern for landowners’ affected by Hen-Harrier conservation rules. Johnny Healy Rae said they have negative financial implications for landowners. There are 4000 farmers affected in Ireland across 5 counties including Kerry. Cllr Johnny Healy Rae said land is designated for the bird which may or may not show up for a week or two a year. Cllr Healy Rae says farmers in the designated areas in eastern Kerry can’t plant or reseed their land, nor can they cut silage. He says it also means they have to reduce the number of cows milked. Cllr Danny Healy Rae called for proper compensation to be paid. Kerry County Council says the Hen Harrier special protection areas are a matter for the National Parks and Wildlife Service.