Details of intimidation of factory workers by beef protesters shared in court
Evidence presented in the High Court last week by meat factories detailed the actions of some protesters over the past few weeks.
The factories had claimed earlier in the protests that factory staff and suppliers going to and from plants were being intimidated, but details of that intimidation was shared in court last week.
During the first phase of the protests, one factory claims several hauliers were threatened and verbally abused, with one told his name would be ‘blackened’ and farmers would be told not to deal with him.
One claimed that one man was dragged from his tractor and his tax disc removed, with a threat he would be reported to Gardai for not having his tractor taxed.
The factories provided photographs, CCTV footage and Facebook posts as evidence in court to demonstrate the actions of the protesters.
One haulier who went to a farm to collect cattle during the protests had his lorry photographed and videoed while another had protesters shouting ‘knackery’ at him.
A driver for one factory reported he was told “go back to the north and stay in it”.
Another factory said in its affidavit that a Whatsapp message to a Beef Plan group was sent, stating the Beef Plan had officialy stood down from the protest at the plant.
However, the protesters returned the following day, and included the sender of the Whatsapp message.
Gardai were contacted on a number of occasions, as protesters blocked the entrances to a number of plants during the pickets.
At one plant, when the protesters were approached by staff of the plant, and requested them to move from the company property, they were told “you have just escalated this and now traffic will be backed up…because there is nothing getting in or out”.
At one factory, a complaint was made to Gardai that children were involved in standing in front of articulated vehicles.
According to the affidavit, the Gardai agreed but did not act on it, as it was on private property and they could not interfere.
Another haulier was told by protesters “that’s a nice truck – if you don't want it busted, f*ck off”.
One haulier told a factory he was supplying that when he went to collect a load of cattle he was followed, stopped at a junction and verbally abused.
He was told that he and his lorry would be set alight if he continued to collect and deliver cattle to the factory.
Other hauliers had their registration numbers and photos uploaded to Facebook. Others reported receiving threatening phone calls.
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