Protests at more beef factories called off by farmers

Protest: Farmers picketing outside Dawn Meats plant in Grannagh. Photo: Eamonn Farrell
Protest: Farmers picketing outside Dawn Meats plant in Grannagh. Photo: Eamonn Farrell
Stock image

Ciaran Moran and Kathy Armstrong

Beef farmers called off their pickets outside a number of meat processing plants yesterday evening.

The boycott, which first began on July 28 amid a dispute over beef prices, continued this week despite an agreement being reached last weekend, which protesters now want reviewed.

But last night the following factories stood down their peaceful protests, Dawn Charleville, Dawn Grannagh,Dawn Ballyhaunis Kepak Watergrasshill.

Meanwhile, a protest at a plant in Clones has indicated that they are preparing to stand down over the weekend. The final protesters also left ABP Cahir.

The Independent Farmers of Ireland group said when this group is added to Slane, ABP Ferrybank, Slaney, Nenagh, Rathkeale and Roscrea it is quite clear that the majority of the protesters have decided that the proposal agreed last Sunday provides the best blueprint for the future.

"While the proposal is not ideal it is clear that the majority of people feel it can provide a solid foundation for the future.

"Hopefully, over the weekend other protests will decide to follow the same course of action and perhaps next week we will all be able to return our farms with a hopeful view of the future," it said.

However, its understood protests remain at a number of other meat plants across the country.

Yesterday Meat Industry Ireland said thousands of people have been negatively affected by the blockades.

It said in a statement: "We have now passed the point of severe long-term damage to the sector. Customers have made decisions on supply for the next two-to-four weeks.

"Over the last number of weeks, genuine farmers have missed out on the sale of cattle for processing worth €120m."

This afternoon, farmers standing down from the Athleague picket released a statement saying they are stepping down their protest and are "prepared to allow time for the agreement regarding the beef sector, reached last weekend, to be implemented for the betterment of the sector overall.".

Irish Independent