Newry & Armagh DUP Assemblyman William Irwin MLA has said the farming community has once again ‘stepped up to the mark’ in delivering help through Storm Ali.
Mr Irwin said he was aware of farmers using their own machinery to clear roads of fallen trees and debris and praised the farming community for their efforts.
He stated: “It is always so heartening to see our hard working farming community spring into action without ever having to be asked to do so. Farmers have given of their time and their equipment to go and clear road ways of fallen trees and allow vehicles, including emergency services, to have access to roads and of course allow electricity engineers to more quickly get to faults.
“We saw this same spirit of help earlier this year when snow drifts cut off many road ways across the Province and farmers were out in all areas clearing roads and keeping routes open. This is often overlooked by the wider public however I want to pay tribute to them all for these efforts, they have stepped up to the mark once again.
“I know that many farmers have had their own issues with electricity supplies affecting farm work and some were without electric for over 24 hours, which for those without generators, has been a difficult time.”
He concluded: “The electricity engineers also deserve great credit for being out in such conditions restoring supply to the public and we owe those engineers a great debt of gratitude. My sympathies, thoughts and prayers are with the family of the young man who lost his life at Slieve Gullion whilst working in the area for NI Water. This is such a tragic incident, it also sadly shows just how dangerous and unpredictable this type of weather is and it is so saddening that a family has been plunged into grief.”