IFA Flood Project Chairman Tom Turley has said he is disappointed Taoiseach, Enda Kenny does not recognise the extent of damage caused to farms following recent flooding.
Commenting on the Taoiseach’s statement in the Dail yesterday that flooded farmland is outside the boundaries of the ‘flood risk areas’ and that he does not see them being able to benefit from the flood relief scheme, Tom Turley said, “The Taoiseach is failing to realise the extent of damage that has been done to farmland and properties on farms in recent weeks.”
Tom Turley said that following the Teagasc Forum on the issues surrounding farm flooding, held in Athlone on Monday, it was agreed that losses would be assessed on farms and that this information would be relayed by Teagasc to the Department of Agriculture.
At the meeting, Tom Turley set out a number of key actions needed to address the severe problems for farmers and rural communities as a result of the widespread flooding. IFA is calling for:
• a flood relief fund to be established, which must be much broader than the one announced last 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.
Tom Turley has also re-iterated his call for a single authority for the management of our river systems to avoid inflicting more hardship on communities.