Tuesday 27 September 2016

Costs of winter flooding could hit €100 million

ICMSA calls for more urgency on relief payments

Published 27/01/2016 | 02:30

Severe flooding in the Cavan area earlier this month saw Bunn Lake in Belturbet overflow its barriers. Photo: Lorraine Teevan
Severe flooding in the Cavan area earlier this month saw Bunn Lake in Belturbet overflow its barriers. Photo: Lorraine Teevan

A farm body has criticised the rollout of Government funds to people and businesses impacted by flooding as "slow progress".

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ICMSA president John Comer said the sense of urgency to rollout the funding to cleanup the damage seemed to have eased as the floodwaters dropped.

"It might be understandable that as the floods recede that the urgency around this issues recedes as well, but that would be very unfortunate and compound the misery of the farmers and ordinary householders who have been so badlly hit by the recent floods," said Mr Comer.

He urged the Environment Minister Alan Kelly and Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney to ensure monies are delivered speedily.

It comes as figures showed 265 applications to the fodder replacement scheme were received by Friday morning, with more expected to be processed by the deadline.

In addition to the fodder scheme, a hardship scheme is also being operated for farmers badly impacted by flooding.

"Farmers have seen damage to yards, buildings, milking and storage facilities and we are calling on the Agriculture Minister to amend the TAMS farm grants scheme to include grant-aid for the provision of flood defences on vulnerable farms," Mr Comer urged.

It is estimated the overall costs of the floods could reach as high as €100m.

The European Commission has pointed out that dredging is not banned under EU law.

Mr Kelly has said works will get underway to tackle flooding but they will likely have to relocate some people from where they currently live due to the likelihood of future flooding.

Mr Comer said measures were needed to project farms.

"Farmers are in a particularly vulnerable position in that they can't "up sticks" and carry on their livelihoods in another location," he said.

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