Monday 21 October 2019

Farmers braced as Ophelia damage starts

Macroom Fire & Rescue Services attend a tree blocking half of the N22 into Macroom from the Cork side as storm Ophelia rages through the island of Ireland. Picture: John Delea

FarmIreland Team

Farmers around the country are bracing themselves for Hurricane Ophelia with reports of trees down and damage to sheds.

Former Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney tweeted that the roof of his shed has just blown off as farmers around the country report fallen trees as Hurricane Ophelia makes its way across the country.

Glanbia has said it that will suspend milk collections until it is safe to do so.

Marts around the country were closed today and Kilcullen Mart weanling show and sale was cancelled until next Monday evening due to safety concerns.

Speaking on RTE Radio 1, ICMSA President John Comer said his organisation is hearing very different reports from members depending on what part of the country they are located.

While he said conditions are quite normal in Northern areas, farmers in the south are experiencing very rough conditions.

The main worry for farmers, particularly dairy farmers, is if the power goes.

“If the power goes milking in the evening will be a big issue. If it's out for 24 hours farmers will have to get a generator,” he said.

In Kerry video of trees uprooting along the side of the road was recorded.

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed  urged farmers, fishermen and people in rural areas to be extra vigilant and take precautions.

The Minister also reminded landowners of the dangers of fallen trees in particular the impact this can have on electric wires.

He advised farmers that if they have to check on livestock, bring a family member or neighbour and in more exposed and remote areas, wait until the storm abates.

The Minister also asked people to check on elderly neighbours in rural areas and importantly avoid any risks. Fishermen should take particular care as the force of the storm will be felt most along the western coastline.

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