Only a quarter of Callows farmers in receipt of flood compensation as promised

CLOSE on 250 disgruntled Shannon Callows farmers turned for a meeting in Shannonbridge on Monday night last in an effort to highlight what they describe as ‘a fiasco’ of a fodder compensation package on offer to them.

According to members of the Save our Shannon (SOS) group, only about 60 farmers have received the full compensation package as outlined by the Dept. of Agriculture last October.

James Nevin, a local farmer and member of the SOS committee, told the Farming Tribune that although there were about 500 farmers seriously impacted upon by the extremely wet conditions from July through to December, only a small fraction of those had been compensated.

“Eligibility for the scheme was determined by satellite imagery obtained by the Dept. of Agriculture but this has proven to be completely inaccurate in terms of where the flood damage occurred.

“If, for example, there was long grass in fields, then the flooded ground didn’t show up in the satellite image – this has turned out to be a disaster for local farmers who lost grass, hay and silage last backend,” said James Nevin.

He added that farmers in a catchment area from Meelick Weir to Athlone had suffered serious fodder and feed losses since the heavy rains which began in early July of 2023.

The compensation package offered in the scheme was €325 a hectare up to a maximum of 15 hectares which would give a maximum payout of €4,875 per farmer.

According to James Nevin, the Dept. of Agriculture initially made contact with about 230 farmers based on the satellite imagery but the numbers affected were closer to 500.

“Even of those 230 identified as qualifying based on the satellite images, only about a quarter of them have been paid out in full – some more have received part payments while many have got nothing at all,” said James Nevin.

Pictured: Cattle up to their knees in water last November along the Shannon Callows.   

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