IFA Meet Clare County Council on Greenways and Other Farming Issues

Clare IFA Chair Tom Lane led an IFA delegation to meet with senior officials in Clare County Council led by Chief Executive Pat Dowling in Ennis this week.

Tom Lane said the meeting mainly focused on the major programme of Greenway developments planned in County Clare as well as flooding around Lough Donnell and developments for the Cliffs of Moher.

Tom Lane said he welcomed the confirmation that all Greenway developments in County Clare will follow the IFA/TII Code of Practice and all developments will be eligible for the Greenway Sustainability Payments, negotiated with the IFA.

He said the Council briefed the IFA on Greenway developments, highlighting that the proposed Kilrush to Kilkee Greenway is advancing and the Council expect to announce the preferred route within the next two months.

“Close and ongoing consultation with all farmers along the proposed Greenway routes is very important at all times. In addition, the IFA delegation highlighted the need for Greenway design to avoid farm severance and proceed on the basis of voluntary land acquisition agreements with farmer landowners,” he said.

It was made clear that the IFA is opposed to any severance of farms or compulsory purchase orders (CPOs) for amenity projects like Greenways.

The major issue of the severe flooding on farmland in Lough Donnell was raised by Willie Hanrahan from Doonbeg.

He said the Council must undertake mitigation measures to address the serious farmland flooding and water levels in order to address the issues raised by the IFA and local Councillors.

Tom Lane said IFA also raised ongoing problems and farmer concerns around the Cliffs of Moher. “IFA is working with local farmers to try and address these issues and develop a new and positive programme which properly recognises and rewards farmers.”