Video: ‘If we can’t be held accountable, how can we hold stakeholders to account?’

Despite the ongoing dispute within the Beef Plan Movement, the organisation was still represented at the second meeting of the Beef Market Taskforce last Thursday, January 9.

The two Beef Plan members present – Enda Fingleton and Dermot O’Brien – spoke to AgriLand after the conclusion of the meeting, and gave their views on the internal struggle, and the chaotic scenes in Co. Galway on Wednesday night.

“If we can’t be held under the microscope, and answer all the questions we’re asked, how can we be expected to ask stakeholders to be accountable for what they do?” Fingleton asked.

“We’re all volunteers, we’re never going to get things 100% right, but we have to strive to be the best at it,” he added.

His colleague at the taskforce meeting, Dermot O’Brien, was at the meeting in Galway last Wednesday night, January 8, where an argument erupted over whether Beef Plan’s western region chairperson Eoin Donnelly should be allowed to contest the election for the county chairman position in Galway.

At the meeting, Beef Plan’s Eamon Corley claimed that Donnelly could not be put forward as a candidate for the position as “he is not a registered member of Beef Plan Movement”.

Responding to this, O’Brien said the situation was “very disappointing”.

One of the main points of contention really was that Eoin Donnelly, who is the regional chair there, was not allowed to put his name forward for election. That is really very disappointing.

He went on praise Donnelly for his contribution to the Beef Plan Movement.

“Eoin Donnelly has been one of the major players in the Beef Sector Agreement, and in the Beef Plan Movement. He’s been involved in many different facets of the success of Beef Plan,” O’Brien argued.

“So not to allow him go for election because they couldn’t find his membership form is very regrettable,” he concluded.