IFA President Eddie Downey is visiting farms along the River Shannon today (Sun) to survey the damage caused by heavy rains and flooding in recent weeks. He said the situation was critical for farmers along many of our main rivers with livestock, winter crops and some farm yards and family homes under threat from flood waters.
Eddie Downey said that the recent storm and flood damage that has wreaked havoc on many coastal and river catchment areas must be fully assessed by Government, support given and works undertaken to assist those affected and to prevent a recurrence. “The support from the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney must be matched by action; I am calling on the Minister to get Teagasc to carry out an immediate assessment of the damage to farm viability in the worst affected areas and to come forward with proposals to assist farm families affected.”
The IFA President said in the longer term, a significant investment programme would be needed to alleviate the pressure on farmers living near rivers and coastal areas. Mr. Downey said he had a constructive meeting in recent days with Minister Brian Hayes on the need for remedial work.
Mr Downey called on the Government to bring together all the various authorities and ensure that there was joined-up thinking, as there can be no further delays in taking the necessary action to address the issue.
IFA Flood Project Team Chairman Tom Turley said the Government need an overall strategy to tackle the flooding issue which has affected areas such as the Shannon catchment area and other river areas throughout the country. “The Minister must bring forward the CFRAMS Management Plan which has been promised for some time so that flooding can be avoided or mitigated.”