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article imageFarmers in North Ireland left cut off due to heavy snow

By Paul Iddon     Mar 24, 2013 in World
Due to heavy snow farmers in Northern Ireland have been "abandoned and left to fend for themselves" due to the heavy snow which has left them cut off.
The rough and tough conditions were described as "an emergency" by Independent MLA Basil McCrea who accordingly said that Stormont's Department of Agriculture needs to respond. Blocked roads in the north of County Antrim are also serving to affect rural families in that county, who cannot get transport into towns to get assistance or necessities.
The weather however seems to be improving according to the NIE (Northern Ireland Electricity) communications manager Julia Carson who stated that, "The weather does seem to be improving, wind speeds have dropped, but due to the extent of the damage across northern and eastern counties it may be a few days before customers are back on supply." (The Irish Times, March 24 2013)
Oliver McMullan of the Sinn Fein political party said that many concerned constituents in County Antrim haven't been able to get to their farms due to blocked roads and are worried about their animals who they haven't in some cases been able to feed or even check the condition of. To add insult to injury this is the "worst possible time" for such a thing to happen since many sheep are lambing at this time of the year.
In a statement the aforementioned McCrea outlined the situation as follows, "As emergency services battle valiantly to restore power and services to the greatest number of affected people, those living in isolated and rural areas, particularly farmers, are abandoned and left to fend for themselves. The snow is simply too deep for even farming equipment to clear the minor roads. Animals are in distress because of lack of feed, farms buildings are collapsing."
A mountain rescue team working with emergency services had to bring medication to an elderly woman who was stranded since her home was snowed in last Friday. (BBC News, March 24 2013)
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