Calls for funding for farmers and businesses to bore wells

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There are calls for funding to be made available to farmers and other business people to bore wells.

Cllrs Johnny Healy-Rae and Brendan Cronin raised the issue at the recent county council meeting in light of the current water shortages.

Cllr Johnny Healy-Rae say farmers have had to draw water from rivers, saying cattle can’t last more than four or five hours without water, with pregnant cows needing much more.

The independent councillor says the current requirements for grant aid for wells are restrictive; grants are available for developing or improving wells, but conditions stipulate the house it’s to serve can’t be more than seven years old and can’t be connected to a public supply or group scheme.

Cllr Brendan Cronin says wells could be used as a back-up for situations like the current water shortage, and he believes grant assistance should be given to the business sector for boring wells, especially in areas prone to water breaks.

Kerry County Council says there’s funding readily available for well grants, adding it’s envisaged a new multi-annual Rural Water Programme will be issued by the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government in the coming months.