Up to 3,000 Farmers are in danger of eviction from their family farms, involving 150,000 acres (607 square Kilometres) to vulture funds. This equates to 3/4 the area of County Louth.
Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Green party recently blocked the Impaired Farm Credit Bill that would have hindered vulture funds from evicting farming families.
A private members bill drafted by the recently retired Master of the High Court, Edmund Honohan brought before the Dáil last December by the Rural Independent Group and that would have blocked vultures from evicting farming families, failed to secure a Second Reading on a 64-72 vote after the Government opposed it on the grounds that the banks would stop lending to farmers.
The shelved Impaired Farm Credit Bill would have provided farmers who got into difficulties with the banks with cheap credit to pay off their loans.
Michael Collins TD told the Irish Examiner newspaper
“Some banks are selling off agricultural debts to multinational property asset companies, which subsequently demand immediate payment of moneys owed”.
“When farmers lose their land, they not only lose an asset but also their income. The stress and anxiety experienced by these farmers have led to countless suicides,” he said, claiming farm families are being “terrorised” by these funds.
Mr Collins said recent figures from the Irish Farmers Association estimated that between 2,500 and 3,000 family farms may be in danger of seizure by vulture funds, with the total amount of land involved being up to 150,000 acres.
“However, the number is likely to be even higher than this, particularly as we enter a high-interest rate environment which will place greater financial pressures on all borrowers, including farmers,” he said.