Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) flood project chairman Tom Turley has said the Government must not allow the EU habitats directive to be a barrier to remedial works urgently required on many of our river systems.
Speaking before yesterday's (January 13, 2016) Dáil debate, at which the IFA was present, Mr Turley welcomed Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s commitment that a common sense approach must be taken in relation to dredging of rivers to alleviate flooding. He said the commitment that the Government will proceed to do what it has to do to deal with the persistent flooding on the River Shannon and other river systems must now be urgently acted upon as devastating floods have hit Ireland twice in the last six years.
The IFA flood project chairman said that where works are ready to proceed, the OPW must with urgency provide the necessary resources so that flooding can be avoided in future. In some areas flooding has been caused by objections and delaying tactics which are totally unacceptable to farmers and rural dwellers.
Mr Turley also said that the Government must take into account damage to land, crops and property as well as loss of stock once the floods have receded. He said the full extent of the flood damage will not be known until then.
Mr Turley encouraged farmers who have a problem with lost or damaged fodder to apply to the Department of Agriculture fodder scheme before the January 22 deadline.