Farmers want the Office of Public Works (OPW) to manage the water levels on the River Shannon, while ensuring that it doesn’t cause problems further downstream, IFA Connacht chair Pat Murphy has said.

A delegation from the IFA visited some of the Shannon Callows this week, where there is a large amount of hay and silage to be harvested.

There has been no opportunity to cut the crops since 1 July, due to very wet weather conditions.

“The crops on the Shannon Callows make up a substantial portion of winter fodder and are extremely important for farmers. July is a key month for farmers in the Callows,” Murphy said.

“To avoid substantial crop losses over the coming days and weeks, farmers need the minister to take immediate control of the situation and ensure the water levels are managed appropriately to reduce the risk of flooding. This will allow farmers to save their valuable crops.”

The IFA has said that in the longer term, an agency must be established, which would include local farmers, to manage the overall Shannon project to rectify the problems and maintain it thereafter.