Protesters at the ABP plant in Nenagh, Co. Tipperary, have issued a statement as they prepared to stand down their protest and leave the pickets.

The demonstrators cited the High Court actions against protesters, as well as what they called “corporate greed”.

The protesters also referenced the decision of another processor, Dawn Meats, to take out legal proceedings against Hugh Doyle, the chairperson of the Beef Plan Movement.

We – the beef farmers of north Tipperary, Offaly and east Clare – have collectively decided to stand down from our peaceful protest outside ABP Nenagh for the following reasons. Our representatives were attempting to negotiate while the threat of legal injunctions lay at their doorstep.

“Now we discover that legal threats have been escalated against one of the founding members of Beef Plan. This is an unacceptable display of power to bring the full weight of the law down on top of the humble farmer,” the protesters’ statement said.

It went on to say: “We are being driven off the land that our ancestors cultivated, and now we are being driven off a peaceful protest by corporate greed and High Court injunctions.”

One farmer on the scene who, according to the statement is 93 years old, commented: “When the farmer is gone, famine won’t be far behind.”

The statement concluded: “We work hard every day and all we ask for is a little respect.”