Several county councils around the country have formally passed motions calling for an “independent meat regulator” with a focus on the beef sector.
Agriland understands that motions for a meat regulator are being progressed in as many as 10 county councils, if not more.
However, six councilors from six different local authorities have confirmed that their county councils have passed motions for a regulator.
The motions follow recent calls for a regulator from the Beef Plan Movement representation on the Beef Market Taskforce, as well as the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA).
The county’s where the motions have been confirmed as passed are:
In Co. Sligo, Sinn Féin councilor Thomas Healy brought the motion forward, which was accepted and passed by the county council last month.
In Co. Limerick, Fine Gael councilor Liam Galvin brought the motion forward which, he said, was passed unanimously.
He noted that even urban-based councilors with no connection to agriculture supported the motion.
Galvin highlighted that the beef and suckler sector was “on its knees” and that successive governments over several years had done little to address the issue of beef prices.
In Co. Donegal, the motion was brought forward by independent councilor Tom Conaghan, who said that “it had to be done”.
He explained that the motion was passed unanimously.
In Co. Cavan, the motion was brought forward by Aontú councilor Sarah O’Reilly.
Again, this motion was passed unanimously, according to O’Reilly.
She noted that there were in fact two motions put before Cavan County Council; one for a meat regulator and another for an ombudsman for the sector, the latter of which was also passed.
According to O’Reilly, it was possible for the sector to have both a regulator and an ombudsman with separate responsibilities.
The motion for a meat regulator was brought before Kerry County Council by Fianna Fáil’s John Francis Flynn, where it was accepted and passed.
Flynn also said that he had been in touch with his party colleagues in various other local authorities on the issue, noting that three other county councils – that he was aware of – were due to discuss similar motions at upcoming meetings.
Flynn also explained that he had been in touch with Tipperary TD Jackie Cahill about the possibility of having the motion brought up at the Joint Oireachtas Committee of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, of which Cahill is the chairperson.
The motion was brought before Tipperary County Council by independent Joe Hannigan.
The council accepted and passed the motion in the first week of last month.