Beef Plan outlines ‘grave concern’ in letter to taskforce chair

The Beef Plan Movement has submitted a letter to Michael Dowling, the chairperson of the Beef Market Taskforce, outlining the group’s “grave concern” over the continuation of legal proceedings that arose from the beef dispute.

The letter outlined that, following the agreement from September 15 between farmer associations and meat industry representatives, the stipulation that all blockades and protests would be lifted has been observed.

However, the Beef Plan Movement letter, seen by AgriLand, stresses that there continues to be legal proceedings in place for “named individuals”.

The letter quotes this part of the September 15 agreement as follows:

All parties have entered into this agreement in good faith. The intention here is to resolve all outstanding issues between farmers and processors. We agree as follows:

  1. Blockades and protests will be removed immediately and all parties to this agreement will ensure that this happens.
  2. Thereafter, beef processors undertake that all legal proceedings against farm organisations and/or individual farmers will be withdrawn in relation to this matter.

The letter argues that the Beef Plan Movement and other farm organisations “used all available powers of influence to get individual farmer blockades and protests to stand down”, and that it has been “established and generally agreed that all blockades and protests have been removed in their entirety”.

It continued: “It is with regret that we wish to bring to your attention that, to the best of our knowledge, there continues to be legal proceedings in place for named individuals, contrary to the agreement.”

There are at least three such people who have confirmed that they still have injunctions in place against them.

These are: Hugh Doyle, chairperson of the Beef Plan Movement; as well as Longford county councillor Paraic Brady; and fellow Longford man Colm Leonard. The latter two are involved in legal proceedings in relation to the ABP-owned C & D Foods in Edgeworthstown.

In the letter, Beef Plan asked for its contents to be reflected in the minutes of today’s Beef Taskforce meeting. It also asked that the contents of the letter be brought to the attention of Minister Michael Creed, and that the taskforce meeting be adjourned “pending immediate clarification and resolution of this matter that we have brought to your attention”.