Ministers McConalogue and Heydon urge ‘Safety First’ in face of impending storm Barra

  • 6 December 2021, 19:38


The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue T.D. today urged farmers, fishers and people in rural areas to be extra vigilant and take precautions as Storm Barra approaches the country. The exact impact of the storm is yet to be determined but it is important that sensible steps are taken in advance rather than when it arrives.

Minister McConalogue said that “I am urging everyone to think safety first as we face into Storm Barra. This is set to be one of the strongest storms we have seen in some time. All life is precious, so we must take all steps to protect ourselves and each other. Farming and fishing are exposed more than most to such storms. The fishing fleet is particularly impacted as the force of the storm will be felt most along the western coastline. Fishers should take particular care, heed all weather warnings and ensure vessels are securely berthed in advance of the storm. More generally people should stay back from the shoreline and remain on high ground.

Martin Heydon, T.D, Minister of State with responsibility for Farm Safety said that “Staying safe on the farm is the main focus of this year’s Be Winter Ready campaign. Farmers and all those in rural areas need to ensure that they are ready for the approaching storm. Farming is a high-risk occupation, and it is even more so when severe weather arrives. So, take the time to ensure that you and your farm are prepared for the approaching storm Barra. This means taking the time to do a check of the farmyard to ensure loose objects and buildings are secure. Priority is obviously the safety of people and I would reiterate the advice that care should be taken. Wait until the storm abates to check on livestock or anything that may have become loose or displaced, wear a high vis jacket, bring a mobile phone and make sure someone knows where you are going.” Minister Heydon ended by asking people “to check on elderly neighbours in rural areas and, importantly, avoid any risks”.

Minister Heydon also reminded landowners of the dangers of fallen trees, in particular the impact this can have on electric wires. The assessment of damage in such circumstances should only be carried out by appropriately trained professionals from the ESB. Where ESB cables are not impacted, great care should be taken in removing such trees and especially in the use of chainsaws.

For animal welfare issues connected with severe weather please keep in touch with your Teagasc adviser or contact the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine Animal Welfare Helpline on:

· call save: 0761 064408

· phone: 01 6072379

The Department’s public offices in status Red areas will be closed. Please consult Met Éireann’s website for up-to-date information on areas affected.

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