THE criteria for carrying out essential drainage works on farmland in Galway, Mayo and Roscommon has become more favourable which means that several minor works schemes could be carried out before the end of the year.
Considerably more farmland, which floods for continuous periods of time in the county, will now be eligible for works to be carried out on the basis of a revised cost benefit analysis.
It is a move that has been welcomed by County Galway IFA as it means that the benefits of carrying out such works are now being recognised as being worthwhile – compared to the criteria that was being used in the past.
Galway East TD Sean Canney has also said that there is a welcome change to the way in which flooded farmland in counties Galway, Roscommon and Mayo is treated in terms of assessment for minor works schemes.
There are also parts of North Galway that could also benefit from the minor works schemes which are now more accessible as the criteria for accessing the grants has been relaxed considerably.
Revised criteria for the minor works scheme have been published by the Office of Public Works. Previous criteria put a figure of €400 as being the cost benefit per hectare for land continuously flooded for one month. Now the figure has been increased to €1,045 for land in the western region, comprising counties Mayo, Roscommon and Galway.
“This will mean that a number of schemes in these three counties which previously did not meet the cost benefit analysis will now do so. I believe that the previous figure was far too low and did not properly reflect the real cost of loss of farmland,” said Deputy Canney who is a former minister at the Office of Public Works.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.