Between 250 and 300 farmers have been protesting outside Taoiseach Enda Kenny's constituency office in Castlebar, Co Mayo this afternoon, according to gardaí.

The farmers are demonstrating against aspects of the GLAS environment scheme.

Farmers who farm on commonage are opposed to a stipulation that requires a collective agreement of 50% of farmers regarding the numbers of livestock that can graze on such areas.

Farmers believe it discriminates against commonage farmers getting entry to the scheme on an individual basis, in the way all others can.

The Hill Farmers' Action Group wants Mr Kenny to intervene in their dispute with the Department of Agriculture. The group estimates 15,000 farmers using commonage would be affected by the proposals.

Today’s protest is the latest in a series of demonstrations farmers have held outside Mr Kenny's Castlebar office.

A number of speakers addressed the crowd after they marched from McHale Park, through the town centre, and on to the premises on Tucker Street.

Among those in attendance were MEP's Marian Harkin, Luke "Ming" Flanagan and Matt Carthy. Fianna Fáil's Agriculture spokesman Éamon Ó Cuív and local TD Dara Calleary also addressed the farmers.

The GLAS scheme allows for payments of up to €5,000 for farmers who undertake to carry out specific actions. Under the "upland conservation" heading, commonage farmers are required to sign a collective agreement in order to qualify.