Beef Plan protest farmer seriously injured in truck incident at factory
A farmer was seriously injured yesterday when he was hit by a truck outside a meat factory where the Beef Plan Movement is staging a protest.
Gardaí have confirmed they are investigating an incident outside Dawn Meats in Slane, Co Meath, early yesterday morning.
The farmer, who has not been named, suffered serious leg injuries.
Gardaí said a road traffic collision occurred outside a premises in Beauparc, Slane, at about 6.30am.
"A male pedestrian received serious leg injuries when he was struck by a truck," a statement from gardaí said.
"He was taken to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda."
The incident is the second in which someone has been injured during the Beef Plan protests.
A farmer was taken to hospital earlier this week after an incident at a protest in Cahir, Co Tipperary.
Eamon Corley, the co-chairman of the Beef Plan Movement, was at the protest in Slane yesterday morning with approximately 30 farmers.
He said that the incident happened when a lorry tried to pass the group of protesting farmers. "We were walking along the road when a lorry approached," he said.
"The lorry was going by a parked Jeep, and as it did it struck the farmer who was standing at the Jeep."
Mr Corley also claimed the Beef Plan group has been met with aggressive and threatening behaviour all week during its protests, which started last Sunday. The Slane protest was suspended for the day after the accident but others elsewhere in the country continued.
"We have been having peaceful protests to get a meeting with stakeholders, as we need to get a fair share of the retail price," said Mr Corley.
"We are shocked that people would intimidate us and bully us."
The accident comes as Meat Industry Ireland (MII) accused the protesters of intimidating and abusing hauliers, vets and farmer suppliers.
It said while the Beef Plan group has guidelines for members, the leadership has failed to ensure adherence to its own protocols. Its statement went on: "Indeed, the behaviour of some protesters at certain sites has gone well beyond the guidelines … and has resulted in unacceptable abuse and intimidation of fellow farmer suppliers, company employees, veterinarians and other service providers."
Mr Corley said he would not condone any abuse, adding: "Maybe some (protesters) do not follow the guidelines but our members have had aggressive behaviour directed at them."
When asked about alleged online abuse of individuals on social media, he said he was not aware of it, but that it is "unacceptable".