Fianna Fáil Cllr Bart Donegan, has called on Minister Simon Coveney to immediately set-up a helpline for the farmers who are in distress due to the poor weather conditions this summer.
Cork County Council yesterday unanimously backed a motion sponsored by Cllr Donegan calling for a helpline to be immediately established for farmers in distress.
Cllr Donegan commented: “Farmers have been put to the pin of their collar, this has been a terrible summer and for many there is no end in sight of the hardship.
“Farmers I speak to on a regular basis as well as farm organisations have raised their deep concerns about the effect the terrible summer is having on farmer’s mental health. There is a need for emergency action and support.
“Cork farmers have failed to make any quality silage this year because of flooded fields, failed crops and farmers having to feed silage and extra concentrates in the middle of summer. Farmers were forced to house their cattle indoors for long periods this summer, feed that was meant for the winter was used and in some instances extra feed was needed.
“Some farmers now cannot afford to feed their cattle and they will be forced to sell their stock, which means that the price of beef will shrink. Farmers feel they are being hit from all angles and a helpline where they can get advice and counselling is desperately needed. There is devastation out there and still the Minister does nothing.
“Members in Cork County Council unanimously backed my motion yesterday, hopefully this will send out a clear message to the Minister. He should immediately direct the Department, in consultation with Teagasc, to set up a helpline offering emotional support and advice on the extreme effects this bad weather is having on farmers and their families.”