AIE: DAFM Inspection Reports: Assessments for EIA Screening Decisions

Assessment for an EIA Screening Decisions

Samples of 28 AIEs received in relation to hedgerow removal and related works (contact for full file)

Bolaboy, Enniscorthy, Wexford

Rejected Application to pipe drains into watercourse, remove all hedgerows, and make four fields into one

Farranfore, Killarney, Kerry

Rejected application for extensive hedgerow removal and planned substantial drainage works

Knock, Claremorris, Mayo

Rejected application for removal of hedgerow to increase field size. Bank removal works with water quality impact on Clooktarrif Lough and River Moy SAC

Lisdornan, Julianstown, Westmeath

Removal of hedgerows to convert three fields to two. Work carried out prior to approval


The Ground Limestone Producers Association of Ireland is a representative body of 16 member companies operating in 29 quarry locations in the Republic of Ireland, and all of which manufacture and sell ground limestone to farmers throughout the country.


Sales data

Overall lime sales in 2020 increased by 16% over sales in 2019. Total sales amounted to 887,320 tonnes in 2020 compared to 762,864 tonnes in 2019.

The county with the highest sales in 2020 was Cork with total sales of 212,240 tonnes, an increase of 18% from 2019.

The county with the lowest total sales in 2020 was Leitrim with a total of 2,366 tonnes. However, this still represented an increase of 8% in sales compared to 2019.

With sales of 452,444 tonnes, Munster accounted for just over 50% of the overall national sales for 2020. All other provinces saw an increase in sales compared to 2019.

Agricultural Catchments Programme

Funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, staff have been working with 300 farmers across six catchments in Ireland for over ten years.

The ACP was put into place to analyse the Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) measures that were implemented under the EU Nitrates Directive.

Plant nutrients such as nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) are essential for crop production. The implementation of the Nitrates Directive into Irish law regulates the management of these nutrients and aims to maintain productivity while improving water quality.

The main water quality challenges concerning nutrients are:

  • Leaching of N as nitrate from the soil into groundwater which can result in unacceptably high nitrate levels in drinking water
  • Runoff of soluble forms of N and P from soils or manure, or movement of P enriched soil to drainage channels, ditches or streams which can cause eutrophication

Eutrophication is the over-nourishment and subsequent growth of aquatic plants. It can be caused by excessive concentrations of N and P in water and lead to de-oxygenation of water-bodies, changes in ecological structure and an overall imbalance. Excessive N as nitrate in drinking water supplies can also be toxic above a maximum acceptable concentration.


The ACP was initiated to provide a comprehensive scientific evaluation of the GAP regulations in Ireland, while the catchments are representative of farming in all of Ireland. The use of N and P is an economic, aquatic environment and farm management concern. Therefore four component programme tasks are being undertaken with original data collection and assessments. These are:

  • Assessing how management trends, habits and attitudes are affected by the GAP regulations and what the perceived implications are for farm incomes
  • Investigating how nutrients at the soil and farm scale are influenced in terms of supply/availability and potential mobilisation to water
  • Defining the main pathways for mobilised nutrients in each farming catchment
  • Identifying the load and concentration patterns of nutrients from the catchments, in each river

It is vital that farming stakeholders are fully aware and receptive to the management implications of the legislation, so these tasks are supported by a Teagasc advisory team in each catchment. The ACP outcomes are continued assessments and recommendations of how effective the GAP regulations are in terms of farm economics and the links between farm management, landscape and water quality.


Agricultural Catchments Programme, Environment Research Centre, Teagasc

NamePositionLocationWork AreaEmail
Edward BurgessCatchment SpecialistGorey & Johnstown Castle, Wexford
Maria Merriman AdministratorMullingar, Co.Westmeath
Tom O’ConnellCommunications OfficerJohnstown Castle, Wexford
Per-Erik Mellander Chief ScientistJohnstown Castle, Wexford
Jason GallowayHydrochemistJohnstown Castle, Wexford
Oggy ZurovecSoil ScientistJohnstown Castle, Wexford
Michele McCormackEconomistAthenry,  Galway
David RyanTechnologistJohnstown Castle, Wexford
Oisin CoakleyAdvisorClonakilty,  CorkTimoleague 
Simon Leach Data TechnologistJohnstown Castle, Wexford
Una CullenData TechnologistJohnstown Castle, Wexford
Mark BolandAdvisorShowgrounds, Gorey, WexfordBallycanew & Castledockerell
Kevin MaddenAdvisorBallinrobe, MayoCregduff
Suzanne NearyAdvisorDrogheda,  LouthDunleer & Corduff
Eamonn HartyResearch TechnicianJohnstown Castle, WexfordBallycanew & Castledockerell
John KennedyResearch TechnicianDrogheda, LouthDunleer & Corduff
Bridget LynchAgronomistJohnstown Castle, Wexford
Macdara O’NeillGaseous Emmissions ResearcherJohnstown Castle, Wexford
 Syed Faizul Islam   TechnologistJohnstown Castle, Wexford
Vacant Research TechnicanClonakilty, CorkTimoleague Catchment 
Meadhbh MurphyResearch Technican Johnstown Castle, Co.Wexford Ballycanew, Castledockerell and Timoleague
 Sean HegartyResearch TechnicanAthenry, Galway Cregduff, Dunleer and Corduff
Daniel Hawtree Catchment Modeller  Johnstown Castle,  Co.Wexford


Agricultural Catchments Programme, Environment Research Centre, Teagasc, Johnstown Castle, Co Wexford, Ireland.

Email: Phone: +353 (0)53 917 1200 Fax: +353 (0)53 914 2213

Agricultural Sustainability Support and Advisory Programme (ASSAP)

Interim Report #2 | 2020

Te Agricultural Sustainability, Support and Advisory Programme (ASSAP) was established in a collaborative process between the state and the dairy processing co-ops, to provide an evidence based approach to agri pressure identification.

The key operating principles of the ASSAP are:
I. The ASSAP programme provides farm advice and support only
II. It is voluntary and collaborative
III. There is no connection to the regulatory and compliance mechanisms of the state

Aim of ASSAP:
To provide a free and confidential advisory service for farmers located in the 190 priority areas for action (PAA’s) identified in the national river basin management plan 2018-2021 and to provide farmers with advice focused on the prevention of contaminant losses to waters with a view to attaining water framework directive water quality targets.

LAWPRO AIE Request: Priority Areas for Action (PAAs) 21/10/2021

FOI-0421-2021 ( Submitted to who redirected to ) 1/11/21

“Under the AIE Regulations 2007-2018, please provide any communications which identifies the measures listed as “Quick Wins” by LAWPRO catchment scientists and passed on to ASSAP for action

For context:

LAWPRO catchment scientists work in specific catchment areas called Priority Areas for Action (PAAs)

The list of Proposed Areas for Action can be viewed here

There is a complete lack of transparency regarding the individual measures proposed, implemented, monitored and reported by LAWPRO (and ASSAP)

My understanding is the LAWPRO catchment scientists (there’s approx 37 of them) walk catchments to spot problems and then pass these to ASSAP to engage with the farmers, landowners, etc


I would like to determine where these ‘Quick Wins’ are documented, initially written up by the Catchment Team, how they are passed to the ASSAP Team, and where all this work is eventually documented to determine is a “Quick Win” turned out to be quick and/or a win

For the purposes of this request please consider the Quick Wins in the 2nd Cycle (2018 to 2021), unless the Quick Wins have already been worked on for the 3rd Cycle (2022 to 2027)

Predicting which farms are most likely to breach nitrate pollution regulations

New research analyses which farms and farmers exceed emissions limits set by the EU Nitrates Regulations.

Violations are most likely when a farm business undergoes substantive change, perhaps via an alternative business model, expanded production, or the buying or selling of land.

Violations reduce water quality and lead to penalties for farmers.

Click to access RB202009_3.pdf