Fianna Fáil General Election candidate for Galway East Cllr. Anne Rabbitte has called for a compensation scheme to provide funding for farmers affected by flooding to reseed their land. Hundreds of acres of land across Galway have been saturated after being hit by a number of winter storms, and farmers are struggling to come up with the funds to reseed their fields.
Cllr. Rabbitte commented, “Farmers in Galway are still coming to terms with the aftermath of Storm Frank. It will take time for these fields to dry out before they can embark on a reseeding programme. The loss of revenue as a result of the flooding is placing farmers under major financial pressure and many will find it difficult to come up with the funds for a reseeding programme.
“I am calling on the Government to approve a compensation scheme for farmers whose land has been under water for three weeks are more. These farmers have borne the brunt of the flooding and their livelihoods are hanging in the balance. Many simply will not be in a position to pay for all the work that needs to be carried out to make their land viable again. I spoke to one farmer who has 75 acres of land still under water – he estimates it will cost more than €20,000 for him to reseed his fields. For him that is next to impossible.
“These farmers are not in this situation as a result of carelessness or mismanagement. This weather event was an unstoppable force, which has turned the lives of families, particularly farming families, upside down. The Government has a duty to help them get back on their feet. Many of the compensation schemes already announced are means tested and not all farmers will qualify for funding. I want to see funding specifically earmarked for these farmers. Ministers could apply to the EU solidarity fund for money to assist these farmers. I am urging them to explore all the avenues open to them to secure compensation for farmers in Galway and the Midlands, who are still suffering as a result of these storms, and who need funding to help them get back on their feet”.