Beef protests: Farmers allege trucks drove into them to access meat factory

Beef protests are continuing around the country.
Beef protests are continuing around the country.
Conor Feehan

Conor Feehan

There were tense scenes at a Kildare meat plant yesterday where farmers protesting for a higher price for their cattle allege that trucks were driving into them and a child’s buggy in an effort to get through the gates.

A video recorded at the scene shows a child’s buggy apparently stuck under the front of a turning truck and another truck appears to drive at a group of men.

In the video, a man connected to the Kildare Chilling meat-processing plant in Kildare town claims there is no child in the buggy.

What appears to be the legs of a baby can be seen in the buggy, but the rest of the figure is covered with a blanket.

A group huddled around the buggy appear to be trying to disentangle it from under the truck but nobody tries to remove the figure from the buggy.

The tension mounts when another truck drives towards a group of men who do not get out of its way.

Under court orders, protestors are not permitted to physically block trucks entering meat plants.

Some of the men then physically stand in front of the truck with their hands on it, and one man falls to the side as the truck drives towards the factory gates.

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A garda vehicle can be seen in the footage.

Speaking from the scene farmer John Dallon said the protestors are engaged in a peaceful protest.

“We are not obstructing, we are not intimidating and we are not trespassing,” he said.

“All the farmers have the height of respect for the factory workers, we have no argument with them. But we feel we are entitled to a marginal profit above the cost of production in a profit monitor laid down by Teagasc,” he said.

Asked if the men in front of the truck were blocking it Mr Dallon said they were walking in front of it, and as long as a person is moving they are not blocking.

“They are a pedestrian while they are moving,” he said.

“We are walking in lines up and down at the factory,” he added.

Last week Gardaí were called to a meat processing plant in Co Cavan after a farmer allegedly damaged its outer walls with his tractor.

Despite a High Court injunction to prevent blockades at facilities operated by Dawn Meats, Slaney Foods and ABP, some farmers decided to continue their picket at beef plants around the country.

On Friday evening, a man drove his tractor towards Liffey Meats in Ballyjamesduff and allegedly ripped capping off the wall outside the factory.The incident occurred as workmen erected copies of the high court injunction against the protest there.

The workmen then left the scene while the man inside the tractor remained outside the gates of the facility.A Garda spokesperson confirmed it is investigating the incident.

“Gardaí attended an incident at Oldcastle rd , Ballyjamesduff Co Cavan on August 30 at approximately 6.30pm.

“No arrests have been made, no injuries were reported and enquiries are ongoing,” the spokesperson said.

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