Factories expect Garda intervention to get lorries and cattle into factories

Garda Traffic Corps. Stock picture
Garda Traffic Corps. Stock picture
Margaret Donnelly

Margaret Donnelly

Meat processors expect Gardai to intervene to get lorries and cattle into factories, according to Meat Industry Ireland Director Cormac Healy.

Speaking on RTE radio this morning, Healy said that if farmers continue to protest he presumes the gardai will take actions to allow normal processing to resume.

The owners of up to a dozen meat plants have been granted temporary High Court injunctions restraining groups of protesters from blockading their factories after allegedly intimidating staff and suppliers.

Healy said he hoped that 'sense would prevail' and the protests would cease.

However, he said if they do not he presumes the authorities and Gardai will seek to allow cattle lorries and other trucks enter and exit processing sites.

Questions as to whether he expects Gardai to forcibly remove protesting farmers Healy said he 'hopes it would not come to that'. The blockades are putting thousands of jobs at risk and putting contracts at risk.

The Beef Plan Movement has told its members that anyone who participates in any protest at meat factory gates it will expel them from the organisation.

The message, relayed through some of the Beef Plan's Whatsapp groups, comes after two meat processors, ABP and Dawn, were granted temporary High Court injunctions stopping groups of protesters from blockading their factories.

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It comes as farmers remained at a number of factory gates around the country, in protest over beef prices.

It comes after two meat processors were granted a temporary High Court injunction yesterday restraining protesters from blockading their factories.

Yesterday ABP and Dawn secured the temporary High Court injunction when Mr Justice Senan Allen said he was satisfied on the evidence placed before the court in sworn affidavits to restrain the named protesters, or anyone acting in concert with them, from impeding, instructing, hindering or in any way interfering directly or indirectly with access to or egress from all of the two meat companies plants.

Lawyers for the two meat factories said a Chinese delegation was due to visit the meat factories in the next few days to carry out inspections of processing and hygiene with a view to increasing exports to the Chinese market.

They said the potential new deal with China had taken years to set up and, if cancelled because of the actions of protesters, could take several more years of negotiation to put it back in place if at all. Some workers were laid off yesterday at factories.

The court heard that the chief concern of the protesters was the fall in the price of Irish beef due to market forces related to Brexit and an increased supply of beef in Europe.  They were attempting to force the beef processors to pay higher prices to farmers for their cattle.

Online Editors

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