The Irish Farmers' Association's Flood Project Team Chairman Padraic Joyce has said the Shannon Maintenance Scheme, which is currently being developed, must be implemented without further delay. Flooding of the Shannon affects numerous homes, farms and businesses in West Offaly, and Joyce has been stressing the importance of maintenance.
Speaking following a meeting with the Minister for the Office of Public Works, Sean Canney and Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran, TD this week, Padraic Joyce said the plan being put together by the Shannon Flood Risk State Agency Co-ordination Working Group is a welcome development that has been long sought by IFA.
“It is now important that this plan is implemented, so that flooding can be avoided or mitigated on the River Shannon and we do not get a repeat of the winter 2015 floods or the problems surrounding summer flooding,” Padraic Joyce said.
The IFA delegation attending the meeting, which included representatives from counties along the River Shannon, stressed that the protection of households and farmland must be a priority in developing the plan.
In addition, Padraic Joyce requested that the relocation scheme, being put together for domestic dwellings, should be extended to farmyards and other business premises.
Other issues raised at the meeting included relief for farmers who are affected by high water levels on turloughs. "A solution must be found to address this issue, as otherwise farm incomes will be at a severe loss as land becomes inaccessible," the IFA said.
Padraic Joyce also called on Minister Canney to conclude the review of the cost-benefit analysis, which has been promised for some time. The current calculation of benefits to determine whether funding is made available for flood defence works, or measures to alleviate flooding, does not account for the agricultural losses resulting from flooding.
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