Mr O' Connell said;
"It has been estimated that the Irish sheep industry is worth €250 million to our economy. Over two thirds of the product is exported. However before this scheme was introduced the national flock was declining rapidly. The investment of €54 million has revitalised the industry and increased its worth to the state."
"The agri sector has the potential to create many more jobs as well as sustainable development in rural areas if it is managed right and protected. This scheme was originally due to end this year and I feel that may have been due to the expected CAP renegotiations that have since been delayed."
"Wexford Sinn Féin is calling on Minister Coveney to keep the grassland sheep payment scheme in place until the new CAP plan is implemented. The Minister knows how important this scheme is to sheep farmers and must also realise its value to the wider economy."