Angry farmer representatives have branded as “unfair and unjust” the manner in which applications for flood supports in the Shannon callows have been adjudicated.

They also questioned the effectiveness and accuracy of the Department of Agriculture’s area monitoring system – which is based on satellite imagery – due to the problems that have arisen in the callows.

Michael Silke of the Save Our Shannon (SOS) representative group claimed that the Shannon Callows Flood Scheme had become “a joke” because of the manner in which it was being implemented.

“There is huge disappointment with the unfair and unjust manner in which the Department has implemented this scheme,” said Silke.

While the SOS campaign group estimates that around 500 farmers were impacted by the flooding, the Department put the number of affected farms at just 230 as applicants with lands along the Suck and Little Brosna rivers were deemed ineligible for compensation.

Up to €325/ha to a maximum of 15ha was to be paid to farmers affected by the floods, which are only now receding in many parts of the callows.


However, many farmers who applied for compensation were refused payments because the Department claimed that the satellite did not pick up the flooding on their lands. The vast bulk of these applications are also failing on appeal.

In letters seen by the Irish Farmers Journal, the Department claims that because the flooding was not evident on lands during six of the 30 occasions that satellites overflew the area between 2 July and 29 September, the farmers’ applications were ineligible for payments.

Unfit for purpose

“I know of land that had two feet of flooding from July till now, but it was not picked up by the satellites because the vegetation covered the flood water,” Silke explained. He questioned whether the system “was fit for purpose” given its “poor performance” in the callows.

Silke urged farmers who were denied payments on appeal, to take their case to the Agricultural Appeals Office.

Farmers suffered serious losses of fodder and after-grass in the callows during last summer’s floods.