Farmers ‘went above and beyond’ the call of duty

Ballyclare farmer Stephen Weatherup helped clear the snow around his area. INNT 13-633con

Ballyclare farmer Stephen Weatherup helped clear the snow around his area. INNT 13-633con

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TRIBUTES have been paid to the numerous farmers across the borough who went out of their way to clear paths and roads of snow to help improve access.

South Antrim MLA Paul Girvan said farmers used their own equipment to help clear huge snow drifts around the borough which had isolated a lot of people.

He told the Times: “I really would like to extend my thanks to all those farmers who went out of their way and used their own equipment to help clear roads around the borough.

“There were a lot of people, particularly elderly people, who were isolated in their own homes because of the heavy snow and the farmers did a great job to help get access to those affected.”
He added: “Of course they were doing all this at a time were they were helpless to help their own livestock.

“I know of farmers who lost their lambs and other animals because of the weather and it is absolutely heartbreaking and now we must work to help those affected.”

Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE) also praised the work of local farmers in helping its repair crews to reach areas where accessibility had become difficult over the weekend.

Alister Fenton, NIE local incident manager for the Ballyclare area said: “Reaching faults has been the major issue for us since the weekend blizzards. Farmers using tractors and digging equipment have been critical in helping us access areas where many roads are proving impassable.

“In the majority of cases we need to get our vehicles and equipment close to the network to make repairs and have been following behind farmers who are clearing areas. This has been a real community effort and we’re very grateful.”