Farmers 'endangered' as corncrake
Farmers in the Shannon callows are facing extinction along with the corncrake and wading birds, the Irish Farmers’ Association claimed yesterday.
Addressing the joint Oireachtas environment committee, Michael Silke, chairman of the IFA’s flood project team, said callows flooding was happening more frequently, with summer floods a particular concern.
Mr Silke said floods in June last year had “wiped out thousands of hectares of grassland”, with the resulting fodder shortage leaving farmers “financially ruined”. “There is real despair out there,” he said.
Mr Silke said that the State had failed since its foundation to maintain the Shannon river system.
He said while agencies such as the ESB, Waterways Ireland and the National Parks and Wildlife Service had a role to play, “political responsibility” now had to be taken by Minister of State for the Office of Public Works Brian Hayes.
Calling for legislation to empower the OPW to carry out remedial works, he said it was “unacceptable” that agencies could veto proposals to alleviate flooding.