Belfast Telegraph

Prince of Wales' fund comes to the rescue after north west's farmers hit by flooding

By Donna Deeney

Farmers across the north-west affected by catastrophic floods will benefit from a fund set up by the Prince of Wales.

Severe flooding devastated parts of Londonderry and Tyrone last month.

The Prince's Countryside Fund, in partnership with Rural Support NI, has created an emergency fund to help farmers with their long-term recovery.

Claire Saunders, director of The Prince's Countryside Fund, said: "Homes and farms have been flooded, infrastructure destroyed, and livestock drowned, but the full impact of these floods is yet to be seen.

"Farmers are having to house livestock that would normally be grazing until October, which going forward will cause feed shortages and cash-flow problems.

"This is a devastating blow to farm businesses which are already hard pressed, and poses a serious threat to farmers' livelihoods and the viability of their businesses."

Ulster Farmers' Union president Barclay Bell said the fund will be invaluable for the long term struggles faced by farmers who have lost crops and livestock.

He said: "The farming families in Northern Ireland affected by the flooding are in need of immediate practical help, but they also need longer-term support as they work to rebuild their businesses and community infrastructure.

"It is good news that The Prince's Countryside Fund has recognised this and is working with Rural Support to offer assistance to those affected."

Jude McCann, the chief executive of Rural Support, added: "The contribution from the Fund will ensure that we have the necessary resources to provide support to individual farm businesses over the coming months."

Meanwhile, Daniel O'Donnell was among a host of stars from country music who raised almost £30,000 for flood victims living in Donegal.

He organised a concert in Letterkenny attended by 1,200 people.

"It's a great gathering of everybody, and it's incredible what you can do in a few days," Daniel said.

Some 63% of August's average rainfall fell within nine hours on the evening of August 22.

More than 100 people were rescued from cars and houses in the north west.

Homes were destroyed and roads and bridges collapsed.

Institute FC's pitch was also submerged under water.

Belfast Telegraph

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