The Government has lost a vote in the Dáil on a motion seeking to compensate tillage farmers for lost crops during bad weather.

The Fianna Fáil private members motion seeks to provide a €4.5m fund to assist tillage farmers.

The motion was supported by Sinn Féin, Labour, and a number of independents and smaller parties.

A Government amendment to the motion was defeated by 87 votes to 49.

The Irish Farmers' Association says around 250 producers were affected by heavy rain along the western seaboard last September, which left crops saturated, and in many instances it was impossible for tillage farmers to bring in their grain.

The IFA says this led to combined losses of €4m.

The organisation is seeking funding from the Government to ease the pressure on the farmers concerned.

Those affected protested outside the Dáil yesterday afternoon.

Earlier today, the Government defeated an Opposition bill seeking to restrict evictions by a single vote.

The vote of the Ceann Comhairle was required to defeat the Anti-Evictions Bill, which was proposed by the AAA/PBP.

The bill had sought to remove the sale of a property as a ground for terminating a tenancy, and would have provided for compensation where a tenancy is terminated.

Long-awaited disabilities legislation set to go before the Dáil

Meanwhile, the Government has promised to bring long awaited disabilities legislation before the Dáil next month.

It was announced today that Minister for Disability Finian McGrath will present the bill to the Dail in February.

It will go some distance towards ratifying the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities here.

Ireland signed the Convention a decade ago but has still to ratify it.

Outside the Dáil today, a group of over 100 disability rights campaigners protested over the delay in the Government's ratification of the Convention, claiming the delay had impacted on their lives and rights.

National planning framework to be launched

A consultation process around the new national planning framework until 2040 will be launched next month, according to the Minister for the Environment, Planning and Local Government.

Simon Coveney told the Dáil that it will be the most ambitious attempt by Government to plan for medium to long term development.

He said nothing had been set in stone and it will be up to people in rural Ireland, villages, towns and cities to outline the vision for their areas.

Minister Coveney was responding to Fianna Fáil TD Barry Cowen.