Tense scenes erupt at Dawn Meats as farmers claim they were told to move away from factory entrance gates

The Beef farmers protest over beef prices at the Dawn Meats plant in Grannagh Co. Kilkenny.
The Beef farmers protest over beef prices at the Dawn Meats plant in Grannagh Co. Kilkenny.

Sarah Slater

Tense scenes have erupted outside the Dawn Meats plant in Co Kilkenny after as farmers’ claim they were told to move away from factory entrance gates.

The action resulted in traffic tailbacks for several kilometres in a row over achieving better beef prices.

More than 100 protesters, from the Beef Plan Movement, including women and children are involved in the picket at Grannagh, Co Kilkenny on day nine of the protest.

Gardaí are maintaining a presence at some of the properties, including the Grannagh plant in a bid to stop trouble breaking out.

Several cattle trucks have been parked on the hard shoulder close to the N24 since early morning after protesters blocked entry to Dawn Meats.

Meat Industry Ireland says it will only engage in talks if the pickets are lifted.

The Beef farmers protest over beef prices at the Dawn Meats plant in Grannagh Co. Kilkenny.
The Beef farmers protest over beef prices at the Dawn Meats plant in Grannagh Co. Kilkenny.

Jim O’Shea, one of the farmers who has been protesting outside the plant said they, “were left with no other option but to protest out on the road blocking motorists after the company made us get off their property. It’s a bit of a pandemonium here at the moment.

“We are now stopping vehicles going into and out of the factory. We are taking this action to protect our livelihoods as beef farmers.

“We want this to be a peaceful protest and we have been doing that. The gardai are here monitoring the situation. So far motorists are pretty understanding but tailbacks are getting longer.

“Last week numbers outside the factory were small but now more and more people are joining the pickets. We will not be going away.”

A Garda spokesperson said they are monitoring the situation closely.

Dawn Meats were contacted for comment.

IFA treasurer Tim Cullinan called on Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed to get involved in the dispute.

"By refusing to take his responsibilities seriously, the minister is making himself irrelevant. If he cannot, or will not, do the job he was elected to do then the time is rapidly approaching for him to consider his position.”

Online Editors