Minister McConalogue on his visit to the site of the landslide earlier today
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue and Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform Malcolm Noonan have met with landowners affected by the bog slide in Drumkeeran.
Over 20 farmers and landowners have been impacted by the landslide, which occurred in June 2020. A multi-agency working group was established in the wake of the bog slide with the aim of working to support those affected.
Ministers McConalogue and Noonan, as well as members of their respective Departments and agencies, gathered in Drumkeeran on Friday, November 19 to engage again with landowners and provide an update on the progress of the working group. Minister McConalogue was joined by Cathaoirleach of Leitrim County Council, Cllr Paddy O'Rourke and Cllr Mary Bohan.
Addressing the landowners present, Minister McConalogue confirmed that he is working with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform to put in place a support package for those affected. He said talks were at an early stage but he would have an update on this in the coming weeks.
“It was very useful to visit Drumkeeran to see first-hand the impact the devastating bog slide has had on the farm families and landowners in the region. I confirmed to the landowners that I have written to the Minister for Public Expenditure seeking to put in place a package that will help those impacted by this devastation. I strongly commend the work of the multiagency group set up in the wake of the bog slide and Minister Noonan has played a key role in driving this work forward for which I commend him for. Much credit must go to Leitrim County Council too.
“I also confirmed to the farmers that I would seek to ensure that force majeure regarding their payments would continue in 2022 just as it has in 2020 and 2021.”
Minister Noonan, who chairs the Drumkeeran Inter Agency Group, said that today was a positive one for the local community:
“I wish to thank my colleague Minister McConalogue for visiting the site of the Shass Mountain bog slide with me. He was impressed with the work carried out by Leitrim County Council and he met farmers and the local community to listen to their concerns. I think we can turn this into a positive story, one where we can inform ourselves on best practice in land use, implement locally-led schemes that will reward farmers for enhancing biodiversity and, critically, we have set a good template for inter-agency collaboration in responding to events of this nature, which may, unfortunately, become more frequent.
“I am deeply impressed with the local community here and their love of their countryside,” he added. “We will continue our work with the inter-agency group for as long as we are needed to address all of the issues related to the bog slide at Shass mountain.”
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