11 Dec 2015
URGENT GOVERNMENT MEASURES NEEDED TO ASSIST FARMERS & RURAL COMMUNITIES AFFECTED BY FLOODING
The Chairman of the IFA Flood Project Team Tom Turley has 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.
IFA will be meeting the Director of Teagasc Gerry Boyle this afternoon to discuss the impact of the flooding and the measures needed to help farmers.
Tom Turley said he has visited farmers in areas affected by flooding in recent days and has seen the devastation caused to farms. “In some cases, farmers have been forced to move cattle because sheds are flooded. Significant quantities of fodder have been severely damaged. The normal movement between farms has also been disrupted with roads cut off.”
Tom Turley said the fear among the farming community is that we have yet to see the worst of the impact of Storm Desmond as river levels have not reached their peak yet.
Following a meeting between the Minister for Agriculture and IFA earlier this week, he acknowledged the flexibility provided in relation to overflowing tanks and the movement of animals on welfare grounds to assist farmers in this crisis situation. The Minister also assured the IFA delegation that no cross compliance checks will take place in the affected areas.
Tom Turley re-iterated his call for a single authority for the management of our river systems to avoid inflicting more hardship on communities.