"The State can flood my land on a regular basis," farmers blame Government inaction for flood devastation

We meet the agricultural workers left counting the cost after Storm Desmond

Storm Desmond, midlands, shannon


One area which was hit particularly badly by the weekend’s flooding was the Shannon basin. Farmers along the river between Lough Ree and Lough Derg woke up on Sunday morning to find their fields under several feet of water.

Newstalk Breakfast reporter Kieran Cuddihy travelled to the Galway-Roscommon boarder to meet farmers who's land has been submerged in water.

"This happened in 2009, and it should have been dealt with - now we have it again," said local farmer, Tom Turley.

He argues that this represents total "devastation" for the area and that he believes that the flooding is a product of inaction from successive governments, not adverse wether conditions.

"It seems the State can flood my land on a regular basis - because it is the State that's causing this, in the sense that they won't take action," he adds after recounting anecdotal evidence of boats being used to rescue livestock from high ground.

He describes the impact that these floods have on farmer's land as "unmeasurable," adding that the pressure which the water puts on the ground can have an impact on farmers' fields for years.

Eugene Sheehan, another local farmer who has been affected by the floods says that he expects it to be April or May before he will have livestock back on his land.

Until then he will be "just farming for the love of farming - not for a profit."

Locals report that failure to deal with residential, industrial and farm dumping, and earth from the peat industry being dumped into the river has left the area unable to deal with adverse weather events like Storm Desmond.

"There are a lot of sleepless nights when you're promised 20 or 30mm of rain, and maybe an extra 20 or 30mm inside of five days" - Mr Sheehan adds.

The clean-up is underway around Ireland following Storm Desmond. Parts of the South, West and North West were hit by heavy rain and gale force winds over the weekend, which led to widespread flooding and power cuts.

Counties Kerry, Cork, Clare,Mayo, Galway, Sligo, Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan bore the brunt, with the western seaboard worst hit - millions of euro worth of damage has been caused in Bandon, Kenmare,Tralee and Skibbereen.

A number of families were evacuated from their homes in Craughwell in Co Galway and the River Deel burst its banks in Crossmolina in Co Mayo.

In Cork city there was heavy flooding on the Lee Rd at Mount Desert.