City streets brought to a standstill as farmers plan more protests
A tractor protest in Dublin city centre brought traffic to a halt yesterday as beef farmers vowed their actions would continue.
Around a dozen tractors converged on St Stephen's Green, forcing Kildare Street and Molesworth Street to close.
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Organisers said farmers from around the country were taking part in the protest.
The protest comes at one of the busiest times of the year for shops in the capital.
A tractor protest last month by individual farmers caused significant disruption to commuters, with farmers staying in the city for several days.
Significant anger has been building in the farming community over 'poor prices' for their products.
Tim Burke, a beef farmer from Baltinglass, Co Wicklow, said farmers decided to keep the number of tractors low to minimise the disruption to the people of Dublin.
He said farmers were "facing a bleak Christmas" due to low beef prices.
He added farmers wanted to get the attention of Agriculture Minister Michael Creed, and were last night planning to continue their protest.
Another beef farmer, Keane Doyle (20), from Hacketstown, Co Carlow, said he had another job as a fitter to supplement his income from his family's small farm.
He said more farmers would be forced to find second jobs if beef prices didn't rise.
The protesters, who call themselves The Independent Farmers, said in a statement: "The Bord Bia price index shows Irish prices for beef are now 50c a kilo behind UK prices and 25c a kilo behind European prices."