IFA Connacht Chairperson Pat Murphy said farmers want the OPW to manage the water levels on the River Shannon by dropping the water levels, while ensuring that it doesn’t cause problems further downstream.
“There’s a large amount of hay and silage either being harvested or yet to be harvested,” he said. “The crops on the Shannon Callows make up a substantial portion of winter fodder and are extremely important for farmers. July is a key month for farmers in the Callows to harvest crops which helps ensure winter fodder is secured”.
Speaking just prior to the warmer weather of recent days, Mr. Murphy said: “There have been significant levels of rainfall within the upper Shannon catchment recently. To avoid substantial crop losses over the coming days, farmers need the Minister to take immediate control of the situation and ensure the water levels are managed appropriately to reduce the risk of flooding. This will allow farmers to save their extremely valuable crops.
“In the longer term, an agency must be established which would include local farmers to manage the overall Shannon project to rectify the problems and maintain it thereafter. This must be established without delay and cannot be put on the long finger”, he concluded.