Farm Ireland

Monday 19 March 2018

Case study: How a pipeline affected one farmer's life

'The compensation wasn't a king's ransom, I can assure you'

Image: Irish Water
Image: Irish Water

"When the letter came we initially thought it might be a mistake," explains Jimmy, a dairy farmer from Gort in south Co Galway.

Bord Gáis wanted to run a pipe through his land which he farmed with his eldest son.

"We'd a herd of around 60 cattle and about 15 hectares of farming land. But the pipeline was to cut through the middle of it. We were worried and I got in the car and drove to others who I'd heard received the letter too," he says.

Within a fortnight of receiving the letter requesting permission to enter negotiations, Jimmy and his neighbours were contacted by the company. "To be fair, the chats we had with the people from Bord Gáis were pleasant and we got plenty of information.

"There was an answer for everything we asked. My neighbours were happy the IFA carried out the negotiations and that's what happened," says Jimmy.

As a result, Jimmy and his neighbours were offered a compensation figure per linear metre, which they accepted.

"It wasn't a king's ransom, I can assure you, but we thought it was fair. I've since heard that those who wouldn't accept and used their own lawyers got much more than we did.

"There was also a payment in advance for crop loss and disturbance. We were issued with a letter of offer so we could give our consent and a Wayleave Map showing us exactly where the pipes were going on our land."

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Jimmy adds: "Within months of agreeing, there were surveyors on site and fences were put up on both sides of the working area which I think was 30 metres wide. I had to change my farming practices so the division of my land didn't have too much of an impact.

"There was trenching and pipe laying, it was a big operation with lots of machinery on the farm for a few months, but things were eventually back-filled.

"Since it was tested, a 14-metre wide permanent wayleave has been in place and occasionally they check it on foot. But, overall, the process was clear and well-handled and I'm happy with the outcome."

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