Mayo Fine Gael TD Michelle Mulherin is seeking a grant scheme to assist farmers in Mayo hit by the flood and storm damage of recent weeks. Deputy Mulherin is also calling for flood mitigation works for Ballina where householders and business owners have been flooded on a number of occasions since January to be given priority.
The Ballina TD raised her concerns with Simon Coveney, Minister for Agriculture, and Brian Hayes, Minister of State for the Office of Public Works, in relation to flooding and storm damage to homes, businesses, and farmlands in County Mayo, at a Fine Gael parliamentary party meeting on Wednesday night.
Deputy Mulherin said this week: “I raised concerns based on my experience on the ground and the local people who have been affected and in contact with me. It is important that storm damage to affected homes and properties throughout the entire country is appraised and that the focus for solutions and flood mitigation works is not solely on the big centres of population like Limerick and Cork. Some areas are just experiencing flooding for the first time. In other areas, like Ballina for example, houses in Clare St, Bachelors Walk, and Arbuckle Row have been flooded on a number of occasions since January and at different times over the years.”
She added: "I raised the issue of the flooding of farmland and the actual loss of farmland to the sea in western and northern coastal areas of the county like Ballycastle, Belmullet, Newport, and Westport and the destabilisation of remaining coastline and the damage to piers and harbours like Killerduff, Stella Maris, and Lacken and the loss to fishermen. I suggested that a grant scheme for farmers for land reclamation and restoration could be introduced and overseen by the Minister for Agriculture which would provide some assistance to farmers. This would allow farmers to be part of the solution to their own problems arising out of the storms. I highlighted the need for more co-operation between the National Parks and Wildlife Service and farmers in SAC areas to allow the streamlining of consents for farmers to clear drains and carry out other flood mitigation works on their lands.”