Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, has urged farmers, fishermen and people in rural areas to be extra vigilant and take precautions as Storm Ophelia approaches the country.
"I urge farmers and all people in rural areas to ensure that they are ready for the approaching storm and ask them to follow closely the advice of the authorities particularly for those in the worst affected counties. Priority is obviously the safety of people and I would reiterate the advice that only essential travel should be taken. For farmers they should ensure that their yards are secured by securing loose objects," Minister Creed said.
The Minister 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 by appropriately trained professionals from the electricity companies, the Department said. Shed doors should be securely fastened and older slat roofs sheds avoided. If you have to check on livestock, bring a family member or neighbour and, in more exposed and remote areas, wait until the storm abates.
The Minister asked people to check on elderly neighbours in rural areas and, importantly, avoid any risks.
The Minister was speaking after the Committee on Emergency Planning meeting yesterday at which his Department was represented.