With the severe hardship facing households and farmers as a result of serious flooding, the President of ICMSA said that he is very disappointed at the failure of the Government to grasp the reality of the problem and the need for one state agency to address this ongoing problem that will occur again unless flood relief measures are prioritised over other agendas. It is quite clear at this stage that the agendas of some national and EU agencies is taking priority over people’s needs and this will again come shining through when the floods recede and we effectively return to inaction and a series of consultant reports. The reality, Mr. Comer said, is that Irish rivers have been totally mismanaged to the point that they are clogged up and cannot handle flood waters and what people need is a long term solution to this problem which will require dredging and not the necessary fire brigade actions we are seeing now.
At individual farm level, Mr. Comer said, that farmers know only too well that the needs of people are well down the agenda of some state and EU agencies and this is the principle reason we are seeing the severe flooding today particularly in the Shannon region but also other areas. Flood prevention is going to have to take centre stage with other agendas given reduced priority and ICMSA firmly believes that one agency is absolutely essential in this regard and we believe that the Government needs to seriously consider this proposal and if they disagree, they need to tell us why?.
At farm level, Mr. Comer said, that farmers will be disappointed that the Minister for Agriculture, Food & Marine has not suspended farm inspections in these areas and where slurry storage facilities have been flooded, the Minister needs to give a clear commitment that farmers with flooded facilities will be allowed to manage this problem up to the slurry spreading opening date in mid January without the risk of penalty. The guidance set down by the Department appears to be overly restrictive and this needs to change to allow farmers manage the situation properly, concluded Mr. Comer.
ENDS. 11 December 2015
John Comer is at (087) 2057846.
ICMSA Head Office (061) 314677.