Kerry farmers turn to the traditional well to ‘draw water’ for thirsty cattle


Gerry Nolan and his son James have been drawing two tankers of water a day from the River Nore to keep their cows hydrated during the heatwave. Photo: Roger Jones
Gerry Nolan and his son James have been drawing two tankers of water a day from the River Nore to keep their cows hydrated during the heatwave. Photo: Roger Jones

Farmers in parts of Kerry are going back to the traditional well to “draw water” for thirsty cattle, a council meeting has been told

A call by Johnny Healy-Rae to provide grant aid for group wells to tackle summer drought was unanimously supported at t a meeting of Kerry County Council

Mr Healy-Rae said an awful lot of farmersnow were drawing water from wells and rivers to keep their cattle alive.  Cows drank around 120 liters a day, at least and pregnant animals evern more than that the meeting heard.

“The provision of a well for a small farmer is a very expensive think. But if a group of farmers get together even a small grant would go a long way,” the councillors said.

Even without the hot spell water did not rest on higher land and it was difficulty to hold it, he said.

It cost up to 7,000 euro to drill a well.

Meanwhile the councillor’s brother Dan who farms east of Kilgarvan said he has been drawing water for up to 50 cattle for the past two and a half weeks from a well and he is lucky he has a well to get the water from.

He is using a cleaned out slurry tank to ferry the water and it takes a lot of effort and time each day, but otherwise his cattle would be in  trouble.

“The streams are after drying up ,”  Dan said of the area on the Cork Kerry border alongside the Roughty River.

Inland Fisheries were warning not to take water from rivers in parts of the region.

Meanwhile, the Kerry County Council chief executive Moira Murrell said they were now looking at 26 water supplies that may require restriction because of the drought.  Pumps will shortly have to be used on the high mountain  lake of Loughquittane which supplies over one third of Kerry, because levels have dropped so much, Irish Water has already said.  It will be the first time in ten years pumps will have been deployed.

Currently grants for wells in Kerry were available but only to householders in residence for seven years, but not for groups of farmer for animals, councillors said.

Online Editors

!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?’http’:’https’;if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+’://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js’;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, ‘script’, ‘twitter-wjs’);