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Fury as floods wreak havoc

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Sheep stranded beside the river at Ballygill, Ballinasloe during the floods over the weekend. PHOTO: GERRY STRONGE.

THE flooding of last weekend with its Super Saturday downpour is now being rated by many farmers as worse than the flood event of November, 2009, with tens of thousands of acres of land across the country covered in water.

All rivers across the county have burst their banks in some places with Ballinasloe, Portumna and South Galway the worst affected as the floods dhave again returned with a vengeance.

According to Tom Turley, Chairman of the IFA’s Flood Project Team, there are 25 acres of land in the Shannon Basin under water this week following a very wet November and the rain event of last Saturday.

Between Friday evening and the early hours of Saturday morning last, some places in the West of Ireland endured up to 100mms. (4 inches) of rain – effectively a month’s rainfall in one day.

This week, Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney, visit the worst affected parts of Galway but patience is growing thing among farmers and community representatives who have seen countless commitments on flood relief measures fall through over the years.

Tom Turley said that farmers across the country had endured a very difficult situation, particularly in western, north-western and midland counties.

He added that this week, the IFA is reporting devastation to thousands of acres of farmland, households cut off, and animals having to be moved to higher ground.

Mr. Turley said that the problem was particularly acute on the River Shannon where already Lough Allen has reached the peak water levels of the 2009 winter floods.

In other areas such as Donegal, Mayo, Galway, Longford, Westmeath, Roscommon, Offaly, Clare and Limerick vast amounts of lands and households are flooded many of which have never experienced such devastation.

“There is now a need for a clear Government response. Ministers Coveney and Harris must immediately convene the National Emergency Response Group to coordinate this response.

“While CFRAMS [Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management] river management plans are awaited from Government, immediate action is now required. The IFA is very concerned that these plans are not taking account of the devastation on farm land and farm businesses.

“These problems are recurring almost annually and the Government must now act and put in place a plan to alleviate this for the future,” he said.

 

Connacht Tribune

Locals thanked for demo backing

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Anne Mitchell: Great local support.

GALWAY IFA Chairperson, Anne Mitchell, has thanked the people of Athenry and surrounding areas for their support during Friday’s Action Day protest.

She told the Farming Tribune that the demonstration was planned to cause ‘absolute minimal disruption’ to the people, schools and businesses of the town as well as being conscious of Covid restrictions.

“We really didn’t want anyone on the streets because of the Covid situation and we also advised that where there was more than one person in a vehicle, and not from the same household, that they would wear masks,” said Anne Mitchell.

She said that they were also acutely aware of the fact that the Leaving Cert examinations were going on in schools around the town which dictated their decision to stage the protest between 11am and 12 noon.

However, one concerned parent who contacted this newspaper, said that the honking of horns could be heard by those who were doing their Leaving Cert geography exam on Friday.

“While I do understand the reasons behind the protest, I just think that the honking of horns should have been left out it, while an exam was in progress,” he said.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Athenry’s action day a wake-up call for the West

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The tractorcade is ready to roll in Athenry on Friday in the IFA protest over farm viability and the Climate Action Bill.

AN estimated ‘200 plus’ tractors, cars and jeeps took part in Friday’s IFA ‘Action Day’ protest in Athenry aimed at highlighting major problems coming down the track with the ‘new CAP’ and the Climate Action Bill.

Connacht IFA Chairperson, Pat Murphy, said that they were delighted with the turnout and also with the positive reception they received from the people of Athenry.

“If farming and agriculture go to the wall in rural Ireland it will sound the death-knell for our provincial and villages too.

“We really do need our politicians to wake up to the fact that decisions made over the coming weeks or months could decide the future of rural Ireland as we know it,” said Pat Murphy.

He said that an agenda being driven by the Green Party to drastically reduce the numbers of suckler cows, dairy cows and cattle across Ireland would have a catastrophic impact on Irish agriculture, unless amendments were made to the Climate Action Bill.

“If Irish farmers are prevented in producing the food that’s accepted as being probably the most environmentally friendly and traceable product across the world, then that gap will be filled by countries like Brazil where rain forests are being cut down every single day of the year,” said Pat Murphy.

He also said that the negotiations on CAP coming up at the end of this month would also have huge implications for farming and especially so in the West of Ireland where farms were so dependent on direct payments.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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Connacht Tribune

Minister outlines ‘tough road ahead’

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Minister for Agriculture, Charlie McConalogue

A CRITICAL part of the eventual CAP deal for farmers will rest with the flexibility of the Irish Government to make its own decisions on where the money will be allocated, Minister for Agriculture, Charlie McConalogue, told the Farming Tribune last week.

During a whistle-stop tour of a number of agri-related projects in Galway last Thursday, Minister McConalogue said that as things stood, the major stumbling block to an agreement was the European Parliament.

“There are really two aspects of this deal which will be of vital importance to Irish farmers over the coming years – the flexibility to make our own decisions and the percentage of the funding to be spent on ECO schemes,” said Charlie McConalogue.

He said that while some progress had been made at the end of last month’s Trilogue negotiations [EU Commission, Council and European Parliament], it had not been possible to reach an agreement.

“As things stand, what’s blocking a final agreement is the European Parliament part of that Trilogue. We are trying to reach compromises on the issue of convergence, and the ECO scheme element of the payments, but this hasn’t been possible with the parliament so far,” said the Minister.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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