Joe Healy has said farmers in all affected areas are hugely appreciative of the great collective effort which saw co-ops, hauliers, contractors, local authorities, emergency services and fellow-farmers coordinate their action to support farmers in all sectors to keep livestock fed and warm, roads and yards cleared, and cows milked during Storm Emma.
He added that farmers are still dealing with the aftermath and counting the cost of this freak event and will need further support to deal with the damage and losses. Joe Healy said, “Storm Emma really brought out the best in rural and urban communities alike, with neighbours helping neighbours. Farmers are uniquely exposed to the elements at the best of times, and in the affected regions were hardest hit by the massive accumulations of snow and drifts, the ice and the blizzard conditions. Some have regrettably lost stock, or have had serious damage to sheds, glasshouses or other farm infrastructure.”
He called Government to provide support to help farmers through the difficulties. He also asked insurance companies, banks and others to recognise the difficulties farmers face at this time and ensure they can access necessary finance and compensation quickly.
The IFA President said “Farmers have expressed to me their gratitude for all the efforts made by co-ops, hauliers, contractors, local authority workers, emergency services, and not least fellow-farmers and neighbours. On their behalf, I want to say to all a big thank you,” he said.
“The difficulties have not melted with the snow, however, and now farmers in all sectors are counting their significant losses. As the clean-up and repair operation begins, it is vital that all stakeholders would continue to support them,” he concluded.