Military sends helicopter to assist snow-hit farmers

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An RAF Chinook helicopter was brought in on Tuesday to help get food to snowbound animals in isolated parts of the Larne borough and other areas of the province.

Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill confirmed on a radio interview on Tuesday morning that a military helicopter would be making food drops to thousands of animals stranded in the severe weather.

The aircraft travelled from its RAF base in Hampshire and landed at Aldergrove, before refuelling and being loaded up with animal feed.

It is understood that the Glens of Antrim was the first area on the list of places to receive assistance.

The Sinn Fein minister also said she would press for a hardship payment for farmers at an Executive meeting today (Thursday).

It is not clear how many animals have been killed in the extreme weather conditions over the past week, and the minister said it was too early to speculate.