Contentious Beef Plan members’ meeting gets underway in Portlaoise

A meeting of Beef Plan Movement members has got underway in Portlaoise, Co. Laois today, Sunday, January 26.

The meeting is being referred to as an ‘extraordinary general meeting’ (EGM) by the organisers. This description of the meeting is rejected by the other side of the Beef Plan Movement dispute.

Today’s meeting has been organised by members of the organisation’s National Committee – a committee which the other side says has been “stood down”.

Some 200 people attended the meeting.

The meeting is being opposed by a cohort led by Beef Plan co-founders Eamon Corley and Hugh Doyle, who have said that today’s meeting  is “not an official Beef Plan gathering” and that any business conducted at the meeting “will not be valid”. This side of the dispute repeated this in a statement this morning.

The organisers have stated that the purpose of today’s meeting is to iron out disagreements in the organisation’s Rules of Governancemembership registers and finances.

Organisers contend that the purpose of the meeting is to provide “accountability and transparency in relation to current issues in the Beef Plan Movement”.

“The National Committee of the Beef Plan Movement is not willing to allow an organisation, which has achieved so much on behalf of beef farmers, to be discredited and brought into disrepute,” the meeting’s organisers said in a statement last week.

The “stood down” committee has also proposed to postpone county AGMs (annual general meetings) and county elections until after this meeting. It appears, at present, that a majority of counties have not held AGMs or elections, though nine counties have hosted meetings that have been referred to as ‘AGMs’ and ‘elections’.

The original date by which county AGMs and elections were to have been held was January 15.

However, the cohort that is opposed to today’s meeting (and is in favour of county AGMs and elections going ahead) has proposed a new final county election date of February 15.