The Chairman of the IFA Flood Project Team Tom Turley has announced the re-activation of volunteer teams of IFA officers around the country who are on hand to help communities in their efforts to protect their homes from flooding.
Tom Turley said, “Since 2009 when we last experienced severe flooding, we have rosters of IFA officers on standby who are willing to assist their neighbours in building flood defences. Any community that has sandbags and is in need of help to put them in place should make contact with their local IFA officer who will mobilise people to build them. Keeping water pumps going requires fresh hands and we will step in to give people who have been working around the clock a break”.
“For anybody who is stranded, we have machinery to get them out of their home and bring them to safety. We can also clear debris from roads to allow cars to travel safely. The scale of this situation demands that everybody stands together and reaches out to anybody in need of help.”
Tom Turley also set out a number of key actions for the Government to act on immediately to address the severe problems for farmers and rural communities as a result of the widespread flooding.
- A flood relief fund to be established, which has to be much broader than the one announced earlier this week;
- Farmers must also be included to help them offset the cost of damage to their buildings and loss of fodder;
- Flood-relief projects which are still at planning stage such as South Galway and Bandon, Co Cork will have to be fast-tracked;
- Teagasc should work closely with farmers in those areas that have been affected. There is a helpline 076-1064408 and farmers should avail of it;
- All outstanding farm payments to be made to the 500 farmers in flood-affected areas whose payment is due to them.
Teagasc will convene a meeting of all stakeholders in Athlone at 2pm on Monday. Tom Turley said he would be re-iterating his call for a single authority for the management of our river systems to avoid inflicting more hardship on communities.