€2m of beef caught up in blockade at Charleville factory - Dawn Meats

A number of plants are still being blockaded (Brian Lawless/PA)
A number of plants are still being blockaded (Brian Lawless/PA)
Margaret Donnelly

Margaret Donnelly

Over €2m of local beef is caught up in illegal blockade at Charleville facility, according to Dawn Meats.

It says that upwards of €2.25m worth of finished beef is being illegally refused exit from the Dawn Meats plant in Charleville by 10 non-beef farmers engaged in illegal blockades.

Following the recent Kildare Street agreement brokered by Minister Creed, management at the Dawn Meats plant have sought to engage and reason with the last of the illegal blockaders at the plant but to no avail.

The facility which is now in shutdown mode employs over 300 staff and exports beef to over 20 countries. It hasn’t slaughtered in over 2 weeks, putting jobs, markets and ultimately farmer incomes in real jeopardy. If deliveries aren’t made this weekend up to 14 premium international customers across Europe may be permanently lost to Irish beef.

Commenting a Dawn Meats spokesperson said: “Continuing illegal blockades are an act of national sabotage and an afront to the very many genuine farmers seeking to make ends meet at a critically challenging time for the Irish beef industry. International beef customers are completely frustrated that for a second week in a row they will receive no Irish product and have had to source South American beef to meet their requirements.

"The criminal actions of a small group of non beef farmers are effectively directing international customers to South American beef as a permanent alternative to Irish beef. This would be a disaster for the area and for beef farmers.”

ABP announced today that a further 100 colleagues are set to be temporarily laid off at ABP Cahir today. This is in addition to the 355 employees who were temporarily laid off earlier this week. It said the action is a direct result of the ongoing illegal blockades at the site by seven protestors.

"The protestors’ illegal actions are now putting all jobs at ABP Cahir at risk, as well as the livelihoods of 1300 farmers who supply cattle to the site. The illegal blockade has cost these local suppliers in the region of €6m."

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The protest is also having a significant impact on other local businesses, it says. "An estimated €5m a week is being lost to the local economy in wages, cattle payments and fees to third party contractors." 

Since the commencement of the blockades ABP now has had to temporarily lay off 1,463 staff across the country.

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