Farmers bring Dublin city centre to standstill demanding to meeting agriculture minister
Farming protesters are demanding to meet the Minister for Agriculture this evening as their tractor protest brought Dublin City centre to a standstill today.
Approximately 100 tractors and a couple of hundred of farmers brought the city to a standstill this afternoon.
The protesters began a march from Merrion Square to Leinster house at approximately 2.30pm
However, their fleet of a hundred tractors has brought the city traffic to a standstill.
Gardai have cut off the protesters’ access to Leinster House via Kildare Street with a 10-man Garda barricade and barriers.
The protesters are now stuck at the barriers, unable to get through.
Independent TDs Michael Fitzmaurice and Mattie McGrath are attempting to arrange a meeting between several of the organisers and the minister away from the protest later on this evening.
The protesters also handed a letter of submissions to TDs earlier today, before the deputies returned to Dail business at 2pm.
Jolene Smith, a farmer from Ballyjamesduff in Cavan, said they are protesting because since the beef protests took place, “nothing is being done”.
“We stood in the protests seven or eight weeks ago at this stage and nothing has been done since and we need action.
“Everything has been thrown at the farmer on the ground - climate action, carbon tax, everything. And there’s nothing in return.”
The farmers are demanding that European directives are implemented to prevent unfair trading practices in agricultural industries, an injunction of two men from the beef protests is lifted and a “fair price” is put on their beef.
“We need action and we need it now, we can’t wait,” she said.
“We’ve been handed these laws, carbon taxes, passed down from Europe and nothing is being done here.”
Meghan Gaughan from Ballyhaunis in County Mayo is a young farmer who has grown up on a farm.
“I’m here protesting because there’s no future for me in farming,” she told the Farming Independent.
“I come from a farming background and all my family have been here for generations and generations and there will be nothing there for me if it isn’t sorted out.
“My uncle, my parents, my grandparents, are all farmers,” she added.
She said that she has been out protesting for the past couple of months “trying to fight for my future”.