GOOD neighbours are worth their weight in gold to farmers.
In the Pallasgreen area of East Limerick community spirit is in full swing and has proven that it can successfully combat the almost impossible conditions caused by record rainfall on the heavy East Limerick soil.
A few months ago the community got together to form a crime prevention scheme, and it has spread further.
A group of about fifteen farmers got together. After seeing that their first cut of silage was going down and would rot, something had to be done. They decided that whenever a fine day was predicted they would take one farm at a time and take all available tractors and necessary machinery to that farm.
They cut the silage the night before, spread it out early on the “fine” day, row and bale it as late as possible and then draw all bales out of the field that night, before further rain would make ground conditions impossible again.
“It was wonderful to see fifteen tractors working after two o’clock at night to take all my bales out of the field to safety,” said Paddy Barry.
“The fields are not too badly cut up and at least we will have some fibrous fodder for the winter,” said his son Séan.
“I hope the weather picks up so that cows can be let out to grass again, or else the silage will be fed before winter and we will be in trouble again,” he added.
This community spirit shown is like harvesting a century ago when all neighbours came together to make the hay or cut the corn. It is wonderful to see it again today and is like the old proverb “a little help is worth a ton of pity”, said David Thompson, whose son Peter was one of those out on a tractor.
The list of farmers involved are Gerard O’Dwyer, John O’Dwyer, Matthew Ryan, Michael Ryan, Connie Harding, Paddy Barry, Séan Barry, Donnchadha Barry, Peter Thompson, Philip Roche, Raymond Roche, Kieran Ryan, Sean Dillon (baling), Ian Lavery (rowing), Liam Butler (baling), Thomás Condon, James Nash and Kevin Leonard.
They were supported by Máire Barry, Catherine Barry, Kate Moroney and Harry Kennedy