Potholes on Cape Clear are causing numerous punctures in tractor tyres, according to the local IFA chair Patrick C. Ó Drisceoil.

He said the installation of new mains water piping at the end of last year left the islanders with potholes bigger than ever before.

“The roads have never been as bad in my lifetime,” he told the Irish Farmers Journal.

“It took me an hour and a half to carry two cows a mile, I had to go through fields to avoid the roads. It would be quicker to take the 45-minute trip to the mainland.”

Prior to the new 9km of water piping being laid, the roads were “appalling” but now there are big trenches making them almost impassable. “People are at their peril, if nothing is done the community will have to come together and take on the council,” he said.

As part of the contract to install the new piping, Irish Water is required to reinstate the roads.

Air temperature

A spokesperson said that this “is due to be undertaken in spring 2018. It cannot be carried out before then due to air temperature constraints”.

In apologising for the current state of the roads, the spokesperson said that challenging weather conditions and the isolated location are delaying the temporary reinstatement of roads in the meantime.