Written Answers. - Area Aid Applications.

Michael Ring


215 Mr. Ring asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Development the course of action a farmer can take to include commonage on an area aid application which has not been used previously on an area aid application; and the evidence he is expected to provide instead. [7424/01]

Where an applicant is claiming an entitlement to a commonage share under the 2001 area aid scheme, one of the following documents would be acceptable as proof of this entitlement: Land Registry folio, Land Commission vesting order, certified copy of relevant estate papers from Land Commission records, grant by the freehold legal owner, grazing trust deed or a grant or deed by original estate landlord.

In circumstances where none of the above documentary evidence exists for any of the claimants on a particular commonage, my Department will accept a joint affidavit signed by all shareholders-grazing rights holders, setting out: the total number of commonage shares-grazing rights; each shareholder's share entitlement in the commonage; each grazing rights holder's allocation of rights and the extent to which such rights may be exercised; an undertaking that if at any future date a person, other than the deponents or their successors, establishes a valid claim to a share in the commonage/grazing rights, such person would be accommodated by a proportionate reduction in the existing shares/grazing rights as set out in the affidavit. The affidavit shall include a recital stating that the affidavit will not be used for purposes other than those for which it was prepared.

Any such affidavit shall be accompanied by exhibits consisting of a map of the commonage showing the total area with the external boundaries clearly marked in red, or, in the case of grazing rights the entire area over which rights are exercised and documentation showing that the deponents have made every reasonable effort to establish a definitive list of shareholders-grazing rights holders relative to the entire area to which the affidavit refers.