Any policy to deliberately flood farmland will be fought by the Irish Farmers’ Association, its president Tim Cullinan pledged during a visit to flooded farms in Galway.
He said the devastation caused by the extremely wet weather of recent weeks is an indictment of the authorities, right up to the top levels of government.
Farmers have to deal with flooded land and farmyards. In some cases, they have had to move livestock because their sheds are flooded.
“Farm families deserve better than this. Too many people in positions of authority have washed their hands of this issue,” said Mr Cullinan.
“It seems that any level of flooding and disruption on farmland is considered acceptable, and there is no accountability.
“Now we have some engineers and retired academics who want to create a river catchment that facilitates the flooding of farmland. IFA will oppose this cop-out tooth and nail.
“Any proposal that seeks to gloss over decades of mismanagement by drowning farmland will be resisted. Farmers will not become the fall guy for those who are unwilling to co-ordinate a proper river management plan,” said Mr Cullinane.
Calling for a number of priority actions to provide practical support to farmers to get them through the present phase, IFA Connaught regional chairman Pat Murphy said that, in the longer term, the authorities have to identify a co-ordinated plan that avoids the severe disruption that farmers and householders have had to endure.