IFA Connacht Regional Chairman and Flooding Project Team Chairman Tom Turley has called on Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney and Minister for Public Works Simon Harris to immediately visit the areas worst affected by flooding and meet the farmers, householders and businesses affected by the severe weather of the last number of days.
In addition, he called on both Ministers to convene a meeting of the National Emergency Coordination Group to put in place an action plan to deal with the current severe flooding.
He said, “Farmers across the country have endured a very difficult situation, particularly in western, north-western and midland counties. This situation will deteriorate significantly over the coming 24 hours as flood waters move along the various river systems. Already, IFA is reporting devastation to thousands of acres of farmland, households cut off, and animals having to be moved to higher ground. The problem is particularly acute on the River Shannon where already Lough Allen has reached the peak water levels of the 2009 winter floods. In other areas such as Donegal, Mayo, Galway, Longford, Westmeath, Roscommon, Offaly, Clare and Limerick vast amounts of lands and households are flooded many of which have never experienced such devastation.
“There is now a need for a clear Government response. Ministers Coveney and Harris must immediately convene the National Emergency Response Group to coordinate this response. While CFRAMS river management plans are awaited from Government, immediate action is now required. The IFA is very concerned that these plans are not taking account of the devastation on farm land and farm businesses. This is recurring almost annually and the Government must now act and put in place a plan to alleviate this for the future.”