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Thursday 19 January 2017

Bygones: Inspectors threaten strike and spuds 'shamefully neglected'

Farming Independent from May 13, 1986

Published 11/05/2016 | 02:30

C.I.E hostesses Betty Vernon, Judy McVeigh, Margaret Kilcoin and Margaret Graham at Galway Oyster Festival. NPA Irish Independent Collection.
C.I.E hostesses Betty Vernon, Judy McVeigh, Margaret Kilcoin and Margaret Graham at Galway Oyster Festival. NPA Irish Independent Collection.
Farming Independent from May 13, 1986

The threat of industrial action by the Department of Agriculture’s cold store inspectors dominated farming headlines 30 years ago.

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“The country’s export lifeline is threatened by the back pay claims of departmental inspectors who yesterday in a one-day stoppage closed cold stores across the country,” reported the Farming Independent.

A separate comment piece on the dispute declared that “it is clear that no government can allow the dairy and beef industries to be held

to ransom by a group of  only 160 people, especially in a year when market prospects are poor and the return from  beef production so low,”

Elsewhere in the paper, columnist Des Rushe bemoaned our dependence on imported potatoes.

“If there is any commodity which is symptomatic of how dismally, how shamefully we neglect resources  of immense potential wealth, it is the potato,” he wrote.

“Last year we consumed 20,000 tons of frozen chips worth around £20m. Virtually all came from abroad — from Holland, Britain, Germany and France, the products of multinational companies.”

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