ICMSA president Pat McCormack
While the water shortage situation is most acute in the south east - specifically Kilkenny, Wicklow and parts of Laois, ICMSA president Pat McCormack has said that concerns are mounting right across the country among his mostly dairy farmer membership.
“The worry levels are going up as quickly as the thermometer levels and we’re getting engaged with the most pressing problems in the most affected locations,” he said.
The Tipperary farmer said that, in fairness, they had been contacted by Irish Water who acknowledged its demand that they go past just issuing information via local radio or their websites and start contacting their individual farmer customers to letting them know what the situation is.
“We think that’s minimum service that a dairy farmer paying €5,00o per annum is entitled to,” he said.
Irish Water has now supplied ICMSA with contact details for its senior personnel on the ground and ICMSA will be going back to them with its contacts.
We’re happy to mediate and spread the word among farmers in any given area about what was going to happen and when, he said.
“One other point I’d make is the onus here to come up with feasible supply options is squarely on Irish Water. ICMSA will absolutely not accept a situation where the agency directly charged with providing water - for which farmers pay and have always paid - just shrugs its shoulders and says they can’t supply the water that we need to look after our animals - the welfare of which is an obligation that farmers take very, very seriously,”said Mr McCormack.