Farmers in Northern Ireland “abandoned” due to the snow
NewsMonday 25 March 2013
A member of the Northern Ireland Assembly has claimed that the farmers in his home nation have been "abandoned and left to fend for themselves" due to the heavy snow we have seen in recent weeks.
The snow has continued to block roads, which has been a real cause for concern as it has seriously affected rural families.
Independent MLA Basil McCrea went as far to describe the situation in Northern Ireland as "an emergency" and called on the Stormont's Department of Agriculture to respond.
The MLA also said that the weather conditions were the worst that he had seen in years.
Sinn Fein's Oliver McMullan said he has taken several calls from concerned constituents. He also said that some of them have not even been able to access their farms and homes since Friday due to the roads being impassable.
He also said that they have asked for extra help as they have not been able to check on their animals for days.
He added that it was the "worst possible time" for such a thing to happen as many stranded sheep were lambing.
Both Mr McMullan and Mr McCrea paid tribute to emergency crews who were trying to clears roads and restore services, but they said much more had to be done.
In a statement, Mr McCrea said: "As emergency services battle valiantly to restore power and services to the greatest number of affected people, those living in isolated and rural areas, particularly farmers, are abandoned and left to fend for themselves.
"The snow is simply too deep for even farming equipment to clear the minor roads. Animals are in distress because of lack of feed, farm buildings are collapsing."
Photo: Jim Bauer