Farm group in protest at loss of wives' payment
A GROUP of farm women yesterday occupied the foyer of the Department of Social and Family affairs in Dublin in a protest over the decision to pull the plug on state pensions for the wives of farmers.
Up to 300 people were were involved in the protest, which took place at lunchtime. They met Social and Family Affairs Minister Mary Hanafin.
They urged her to restore the pensions, which were axed last January.
A group of 12 women were preparing to roll out sleeping bags last night when they met the minister and the protest ended.
She expressed an apology for the "upset and distress" caused to 84 women who, she said, were awarded a pension in error. IFA President John Bryan said axing the pension was a U-turn on an agreement made two years ago.