Farm Ireland

Friday 20 April 2018

Department refuses 70% of farmers' applications to flood damage scheme

Ferrying neighbours through the floods at Mukanagh, Athlone in 2015. Picture: Fergal Phillips
Ferrying neighbours through the floods at Mukanagh, Athlone in 2015. Picture: Fergal Phillips
Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

Over 70% of farmers who applied for aid under Emergency Flood Damage Relief scheme last year were refused.

New figures released by the Department of Agriculture, shows that some 167 farmers applied for the scheme, of which 121 were deemed ineligible.

The scheme was developed in response to the serious flooding last winter.

The supports put in place for farmers most affected also included the introduction of a Fodder Aid scheme (replacing damaged fodder). In addition, emergency feed was provided where there was a risk to animal welfare on farms.

The Emergency Flood Damage Relief scheme assisted farmers, under 3 categories, loss of livestock, damage to fixed agricultural structures and fittings, and the necessity to move livestock to alternate housing (excluding the cost of feed).

Releasing the figures following a parliamentary question from Fianna Fail’s Robert Troy, the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed said those applicants who did not qualify were found not to have suffered losses under the three headings provided for.

Meanwhile under the Fodder Aid Scheme, which compensated for lost fodder, there were 391 applications received of which 330 were paid a total of €660,000.

Also this week the Minister Creed said details of a new scheme to help relocate farmers who have been severely affected by flooding in recent years will be brought to Government shortly by the Minister for State with special responsibility for the Office of Public Works and flood relief.

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He said legal advice has been received from the office of the Attorney General and Minister Canney is due to bring recommended administrative arrangements to Government in the coming weeks.

The Minister said his Department will use the  arrangements for the already established Voluntary Homeowners Relocation Scheme to identify those farmyard buildings to determine if any alternative remedial works can be undertaken to protect those at risk farm buildings.

This, he said will inform the feasibility of any future once-off targeted scheme for Voluntary Farm Building Relocation.

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