Iso­lated farm­ers ‘are at their wits’ end’: ICSA

Irish Independent - Farming - - NEWS - CLAIRE FOX

FARM­ERS are at their wits’ end as a re­sult of fi­nan­cial pres­sures, iso­la­tion and con­cerns about ru­ral crime, Sea­mus Sher­lock of the ICSA has claimed.

Speak­ing at a re­cent meet­ing in Sk­ibereeen to tackle ru­ral iso­la­tion and as­so­ci­ated men­tal health is­sues, Mr Sher­lock said many farm­ers were strug­gling to cope with the fall­out from the re­cent fod­der cri­sis and fears about ru­ral crime.

He urged farm­ers to reach out for help if they needed it.

“We are on a res­cue mis­sion for a lot of farm­ers who are at their wits’ end. Hope­fully we are com­ing to the end of the most dif­fi­cult win­ter many of us can re­mem­ber,” Mr Sher­lock said.

“It’s time now to draw on the pos­i­tives and look af­ter each other and look to the fu­ture to­gether. Many think that their prob­lems are un­solv­able but there is hope there.

“Fi­nan­cial and wor­ries about ru­ral crime are the big­gest fac­tors that af­fect men­tal health. Farm­ers are stretched to the limit fi­nan­cially.

“A few sunny days would make a big dif­fer­ence as this win­ter won’t be for­got­ten.”

Garda Sergeant Edel Burke Cur­tain, based in west Clare, gave an ac­count of an el­derly man who lived alone and who fell in to a mower and bled to death. She re­minded peo­ple that lo­cal gar­dai are there to help but that peo­ple have to reach out.

“I heard of a lo­cal garda who stayed with a sick man all night be­cause he couldn’t get a doc­tor un­til morn­ing,” she said.

“We are there and we want to help. There is hope there and there is help but you need to look for it your­self as we may not know about you. There’s no em­bar­rass­ment.”

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