Anger as Donegal farmers still waiting on flooding payments

Farmer Martin Grant from Ballymagowan lost livestock to the floods. PHOTOS: Caroline Quinn
Farmer Martin Grant from Ballymagowan lost livestock to the floods. PHOTOS: Caroline Quinn
Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

Fianna Fáil Agriculture Spokesperson and TD for Donegal Charlie McConalogue has hit out at the Government for the length of time it is taking to make payments to farmers affected by the flash floods in Donegal last August.

In the aftermath of the flooding, Minister Michael Creed announced a compensation scheme for farmers; however, McConalogue says not one payment has been made to date.

“The floods which hit Donegal in August were unprecedented, and left many farms on the Inishowen peninsula extensively damaged. 

“Large swathes of land were submerged, and the subsequent wet weather has meant that many of these farms are still completely waterlogged.

Michael Gubbins from Crockhill, Buncrana lost 162 silage bales to the floods and has been forced to house his stock. Photo: Caroline Quinn
Michael Gubbins from Crockhill, Buncrana lost 162 silage bales to the floods and has been forced to house his stock. Photo: Caroline Quinn

“Shortly after the event, the Department of Agriculture opened up a compensation scheme and despite the fact that the closing date for applications was the end of September, not one farmer has received payment. 

“This is an extremely serious situation given the scale of the devastation caused. 

“Many of those who applied for funding are reliant on their farm income and are now facing into Christmas with a vastly reduced revenue stream.

“This is a deeply stressful situation for them and their families.

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McConalogue said he has contacted the Department and has sought assurances from Minister Creed that these payments will be made without delay.

Among the farmers worst affected was Michael Gubbins, who works on his sister Fiona Gubbins' beef suckler farm in Buncrana, Co Donegal.

He told the Farming Independent at the time that he could only look on helplessly as 162 bales of silage became submerged in water.

"162 bales are destroyed. What can you do? I've never seen damage like that. Fences are damaged. It's a once in a lifetime kind of thing," said Michael.

He added that they will be unable to cut silage on the field as the land is destroyed with stones and gravel.

"Those bales were worth €30 each. We've no silage now for the winter and will have to buy it in. It's going to cost an awful lot for us."

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