Kerry County Council is to ramp up its farm inspections following an audit by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The EPA found that in both 2022 and 2023, the number of planned farm inspections carried out by the local authority was inadequate compared with the number of waterbodies at risk from agricultural pressures in the county.

“Inspections were undertaken on foot of complaints received.

“This remained the case for 2023, with no preplanned good agricultural practices (GAP) regulations inspections carried out, however, further resourcing has now been assigned to this area for 2024 and the EPA expects that directors of services will ensure those resources are used effectively to achieve the aims of the National Agricultural Inspections Programme (NAIP), carry out agricultural inspections and implement associated actions,” the EPA stated in its audit.

The audit was carried out in mid-March 2024. It also found that no commercial food waste inspections were carried out in 2021 and 2022.

Kerry County Council said that a lack of resources had had an impact on its performance of statutory environmental functions in 2021, 2022 and 2023.


The EPA outlined a number of actions required by the council for 2024. It said that the local authority should effectively use the assigned resources to achieve the aims of the NAIP farm inspection plan.

“The farm inspection tracker should be maintained throughout the year, to assist in reporting. Kerry County Council are reminded to seek sanction for the new post of agriculture inspector recently notified to them by the [Department of Local Government],” the audit stated.

It also said the council should prioritise the monitoring and inspection of discharge licences that are a “significant pressure” on water quality. In particular, it said to review the Emlagh and Gweestin rivers.