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Sunday 18 February 2018

Potato farmer faces €300,000 crop losses from flooding

'I won't know for weeks if my livelihood is ruined'

Seamus Lynch battled for days to save his potato crops that are worth €300,000. Photo: North West Newspix
Seamus Lynch battled for days to save his potato crops that are worth €300,000. Photo: North West Newspix

Stephen Maguire

A farmer who has battled for days to save his €300,000 potato crop after the Donegal floods is hoping he has done enough to save his livelihood.

Seamus Lynch was left devastated when he arrived at his 125 acres of crops at Porthall in Lifford early on Wednesday morning.

A combination of a spring tide and the torrential rain that hit the north-west on Tuesday night left many parts of his lands on the banks of the River Foyle waist-deep in water.

The experienced farmer knew there was no time to waste and set about sourcing water pumps to get the water off his land in a bid to save his crops, which also includes barley and corn.

He erected seven pumps, which have been working around the clock to get the water off the land.

A team also dug trenches to allow the water get back into the River Foyle. Seamus's future is in the lap of the gods and he will know in around two weeks' time if he has managed to do enough.

The cost could be huge, with each acre of his 65 acres of potatoes worth up to €5,000 as well as barley and corn worth up to a total crop of almost €500,000.

Salvage

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A frustrated Seamus said: "It's very much a salvage job, just to see what we can save.

"We have been pumping out water steady for the past number of days.

"It's just so hard to take it all in, what has happened.

"It's been a nightmare to be honest. We just have to keep sticking with it.

"We will know the full extent of the damage and what we have been able to save in a fortnight's time."

Mr Lynch is just one of hundreds of people who have been affected by the floods.


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