JOHN Malone has been successfully farming cattle on his family farm since he was a boy, yet he fears the fallout from the horse meat scandal could be the beef industry's undoing.
Mr Malone (79) finishes several hundred head of cattle on his 200-acre farm at 'Ladytown House' near Newbridge, Co Kildare.
He supplies his beef cattle to the local meat processor, Kildare Chilling.
Even though the processor is not connected in any way with the horse-meat scandal, he fears Irish beef farmers could be hit by the fallout from the scandal, particularly if demand for beef falters and cattle prices fall. "Any drop in sales will affect us," he told the Irish Independent.
However, he also understands the consumer backlash over the scandal in which some frozen hamburger patties sold at Irish supermarkets, including industry giant Tesco, were found to contain horse DNA.
"We're very concerned that people should get what's on the tin," Mr Malone said.
"There is a lot of media hype about it, but, still, if you want to buy beef you should get beef." he said.
Cattle farmers are just hoping that the matter is cleared up as soon as possible so they can carry on without any further impact on their livelihoods.
"I'd like to know where it (the horse meat) came from and how it happened," Mr Malone added. "Everybody has to live up to standards."