Farmers are to receive funding from the Government to help alleviate the difficulties they are facing from flooding.

Yesterday, Tuesday, the Government announced an extra €10m flooding response.

Decisions for farmers included a hardship recognition scheme for farmers and a fodder replacement scheme.

It announced that the clean-up fund has been increased by a further €10m, in addition to the €8m already committed.

The Government also made several other decisions that will affect farmers, landowners and rural communities.

A River Shannon Co-ordination Group is to be established and the Office of Public Works (OPW) is to oversee two individual pilot “home protection schemes”.

The Department of Transport is to bring a road infrastructure damage report to Government, with funding to be supplied in due course.

Farm family homes are also to be eligible under the Humanitarian Aid scheme and a new flood forecasting unit is to be established.

The Department of the Environment and OPW are to meet with EU Environment Commissioner and the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, and relevant Ministers are to meet with Insurance Industry representatives next week.

The Taoiseach said that we are experiencing the worst ever period of winter weather, including six storms and record levels of rain falling over the last month.

I have seen at first hand the devastation caused by the flooding and the Government is today providing extra funding to assist in the response to, and the clean up required, as a result of the flooding.

“The Government also wants to thank all of the emergency services personnel, Local Authority workers and all the volunteers who have been working on a 24/7 basis to help respond to these extreme weather events,” he said.

Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly said that the decisions taken at Cabinet are designed to help and give relief to people in the short term, but also provide protection to communities in the long-term.

“We have a legacy of bad planning and a changing climate that leaves many communities vulnerable to extreme weather events like we have had.

This December saw the highest ever rainfall levels on record, and we are likely to experience these events more frequently in the future.

“There are local and national actions to be taken in both the long and short-term and it will require Government combining the knowledge of both qualified experts and local communities to make towns and communities more flood resilient.

“The Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management (CFRAM) plans will be published in summer and we are committed to having a national adaptation plan to climate change in the long-run under the terms of the Climate and Low-Carbon Development Bill,” Kelly said.