Farm Ireland

Saturday 17 March 2018

'Farmers are being “left until last” by the ESB'

Damage to a barn in Carrigen, Co. Waterford caused by Hurricane Ophelia.
Photo: Tony Gavin 17/9/2017
Damage to a barn in Carrigen, Co. Waterford caused by Hurricane Ophelia. Photo: Tony Gavin 17/9/2017

Claire Fox

West Cork farmer, Tom Wilson from Enniskeane added that he has been left without power, while three quarters of his cattle shed was blown to pieces due to Monday’s high winds.

“It’s very disappointing as we’ve still no power and cows had been milking well all year. It’s the worst I’ve seen in all of my days and I’ve been milking all my life,” he said.

Conor Creedon, from Rathmore, Co Kerry is also without power. Although he has access to a generator, it is not strong enough to cool his milk. He feels that farmers are being “left until last” by the ESB.

“We haven’t seen any ESB vans around here. It’s the same situation three miles north of us. A fuse blew in a friend of mine’s farm. We’re being left until last. We hope to get power back soon but I can’t see that happening,” he said.

According to Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA) President John Comer the “most pressing matter” is power outages in milking parlours and that everything needs to be done to make sure farmers have access to generators.

The ESB stated that they are: "prioritising repairs to higher voltage lines. While obviously frustrating for customers living in smaller clusters, this is the most effective way of restoring power following an unprecedented weather event such as Storm Ophelia. At the height of the storm, 385,000 customers were without power but 170,000 have now had their power restored."

Glanbia estimated that on Tuesday some 500 suppliers were seriously affected and has asked farmers with generators who are not affected to consider making their generators available to those who need them.

Those with suitable mobile generators available for use are asked to contact their local Glanbia Ireland representative.

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