Monday 19 March 2018

Farmers evacuate their farms as rain continues to fall

An aerial view of flooding in the Shannon basin between Banagher, Co Offaly and Parteen Co Clare
An aerial view of flooding in the Shannon basin between Banagher, Co Offaly and Parteen Co Clare

Wayne O’Connor

Farmers in Clare and Limerick are evacuating their farms today as they expect the weather to get worse overnight tonight.

Constant rain last night and this morning along with the announcement that the ESB were to increase the flow of water into the Shannon means that many locals near the river are fearing the worst.

Rain has eased off in Limerick and Clare since lunchtime today but Met Eireann are forecasting that conditions are likely to deteriorate.

“Tonight will be mostly cloudy, with rain becoming widespread, accompanied by hail and coastal fog,” said a spokesperson for Met Eireann.

Clare farmer Paidi Ryan, from Springfield, said that he was packing up to leave.

“We evacuated most of the cows on Tuesday but held on to the milking cows because I have nowhere else to milk them,” he added.

“We are getting the rest of them out now.”

Read more: Snow adds to weather chaos as flood-hit regions brace for more heavy rain

Mr Ryan said that his farm is more than one mile away from the river Shannon but is still overflowing with water.

“The river enters the Shannon against the flow at enormous speed so there are huge deposits at the mouth of the Mulcair over the past 70 years,” he said.

“We have no one organisation in charge of it. They are passing around the buck between them,” he added.

“There are 17 councils involved and four government departments involved. Nobody wants to take responsibility for it. Nobody wants to maintain it. That has to change.”

He said that the flooding has affected all of their lives in the area.

“We have silage pits here but I cannot make a pit of silage here or a pit of maize,” said Mr Ryan.

“In order to accommodate flooding I have to draw the silage up and down the road, one mile every day, every year, every winter,” he added.

“I am sick of it.”

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