Time for farmers to be heard in Shannon Pipeline debate

Aaron Moran

Reporter:

Aaron Moran

Email:

news@offalyexpress.ie

Time for farmers to be heard in Shannon Pipeline debate

IFA Environment and Rural Affairs Chairman Thomas Cooney has urged all farmers and their families who may be impacted by the proposed project to pipe water from the river Shannon to Dublin to attend the Irish Water organised consultation meetings which started this week.

Thomas Cooney said, “The landowner is the most important stakeholder in this project. After the engineers, planners and consultants are long gone, farmers are the ones who will be left with this pipe on their lands. Therefore, their voices are the most important and they must be heard.”

The IFA has urged every farmer who has received letters in recent days from Irish Water about the project to attend the meetings and get as much information about the project as possible. Concerns and objections should be set at these meetings.

Thomas Cooney said it is important that all farmers receive the following information:

·a detailed map setting out the impact of the proposed project on farm holdings;

·an understanding why the route has been selected;

·confirmation that the project will remain in State ownership;

·confirmation that any future income and yield losses will be made good by Irish Water, if the project were to happen

·an understanding of the physical impact the proposed project will have on farm holdings and if there will be any permanent structures on farms.

“Farm families must ensure their strong voices are heard clearly at the Irish Water meetings,” Thomas Cooney concluded.