‘Public support cannot be provided for insurable risks’

In the aftermath of the recent extreme weather experienced in Ireland, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, outlined that public support cannot be provided for insurable risks.

The minister made the comments in response to a parliamentary question from Fianna Fail’s agriculture spokesperson Charlie McConalogue.

Deputy McConalogue was inquiring about the compensation funds available to farmers that had farm equipment, infrastructure and produce damaged – as well as those who lost livestock – by the severe weather caused by storm Emma.

A considerable amount of damage was caused on farms across the country, with many shed roofs collapsing under the weight of snow following heavy accumulations.

Also Read: ‘I had just pushed in the silage when the roof caved in’

Commenting on the matter, Minister Creed said: “As the storm abated and the sector slowly returned to normal it became clear that the main problem centred on damage to horticulture and other on-farm structures.

“Such structures will principally be insured and it is important that insurance companies respond rapidly and flexibly to the needs of their farmers customers.

It is important to emphasise that public support cannot be provided for insurable risks.

“In order to respond where possible to the issue of structural damage, I believe that it is appropriate to consider what aspects can be addressed through on-farm investment support schemes operated by my department and I have asked my officials to examine this as a matter of urgency,” he said.

During the extreme weather, the minister explained that the department’s emergency phone line for animal welfare issues remained open and attended at all times.

All requests for support were responded to, he added.

Minister Creed also took the opportunity to “recognise the significant assistance the farming community provided within the wider local community at this busy time, as they looked in on neighbours, cleared roads and helped to restore access to more remote rural areas”.