Beef bosses pray for English Euro run
Ireland's meat processors will be secretly shouting for England in the upcoming European Championships in Poland and the Ukraine.
Setting aside their national pride, meat factory bosses will be hoping for England to beat their Pool D opponents France, Sweden and Ukraine and make it through the knockout stages to the final in Kiev on July 1.
Why? Because there is a direct link between the performance of the English soccer team and the amount of Irish beef sold across the water.
Hot weather and a good run for England at Euro 2012 would see sales of burgers and other barbecue cuts soar in the next month. The boost that a good England soccer performance would give to Irish beef could be bigger than this summer's Olympic Games.
"Soccer supporters would put away a hell of a lot more burgers than the Olympic audience, which tends to be a more refined bunch," remarked one meat processor.
Combined with a scarcity of finished cattle, a European Championships boost would be the icing on the cake for beef finishers.
The latest CSO figures show that the number of cattle slaughtered this April was almost 20pc lower than the same month last year.
Just 110,000 cattle were slaughtered in April 2012, compared to 136,900 head in April 2011, a fall of 19.4pc.