Farmers being ignored in plans to curb flooding
Farmers, rural areas and farmland are being ignored in national plans to reduce flood risk, the IFA has warned.
A national strategy must be put in place to deal with the significant damage that has occurred on lands and property, IFA president Joe Healy told the National Flood Forum.
"Flood events on the River Shannon used to be a once in 100 year occurrence. The fact that two such events have occurred in the last seven years must spur action and lead to the implementation of major works," he said.
He said the draft Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management programme had addressed the protection of large towns and some villages but has ignored farmers and rural areas.
Mr Healy said it was positive that works were taking place at key points on the Shannon which have not been maintained for almost 100 years, but insisted that it must be accelerated.
Concerns were also raised that, due to the slow process of proposals and project planning, the money allocated in recent Budgets would not be spent on the capital works.
Meanwhile, some farmers in the west have heavily dipped into their winter forage stocks, with some reporting levels as low as 15-20pc of their requirements until May.
Teagasc advisor Tom Coll said some farmers who had to house stock early still have not budgeted ahead for a potentially long winter.