IFA calls for implementation of farmyard relocation scheme

The widespread flooding of farmland is putting “a serious strain on farmers”, according to the Irish Farmers’ Association’s (IFA’s) Connacht regional chairman, Pat Murphy.

Murphy outlined: “The forecast into the weekend is not good, with more rain to fall in areas that are already saturated.

“It will add to the pressure that farmers are experiencing as they work to keep their livestock safe,” he said.

Murphy put forward a number of actions to provide practical support to farmers.

The proposed actions are as follows:
  • Implement the farmyard relocation scheme – provided by the Office of Public Works (OPW) and administered by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine;
  • Fast-track of relief works at pinch points, with increased funding;
  • Teagasc to set up clinics in the worst-affected areas that would identify farmers who need fodder and set up a scheme to deliver the fodder;
  • Support services to safeguard the mental health of those impacted by flooding.

Commenting on the proposed measures, Murphy said: “Farmers don’t realise that a relocation scheme exists.

“The department has to increase awareness of the scheme so that farmers with flooded farmyards can apply.

The relief works have to be carried out in a manner that alleviates the problem at the pinch points, but doesn’t impact landowners further down the river.

Concluding, the IFA’s Connacht regional chairman said: “These are the priorities at the moment to get us through this phase.

“In the longer term, the authorities have to identify a co-ordinated plan that avoids the severe disruption that farmers and householders have had to endure.”