Thousands of farmers remain on flood alert
Estimated 40,000ac under water as more downpours forecast
Thousands of farmers remain on alert as flood waters continued to rise yesterday, and further heavy downpours are forecast for the southwest.
Heavy rain in the western half of the country yesterday saw rivers rise another inch, and the total area flooded increase beyond the estimated 40,000ac that was under water at the weekend.
A task force involving all the main farm organisations, advisors, vets, and the Department of Agriculture met near Athlone yesterday to coordinate a series of measures, including setting up a helpline (076-1064408).
The latest update from Teagasc indicates that 700 farmers have been directly affected by flooding with many more at risk.
Part of the Teagasc support package will include farm visits by specialist staff for the worst affected farmers.
IFA spokesman Tom Turley said that a bigger relief fund than the one announced last week was required to help farmers offset the cost of damage to their buildings and loss of fodder.
He also demanded that a single authority manage the rivers, and that flood-relief projects still at planning stage such as those in south Galway and Bandon, Co Cork be fast-tracked.