Creed: Behaviour that prevented taskforce meeting ‘unacceptable’

The behaviour that prevented the Beef Market Taskforce from holding its first meeting earlier this week has been labelled “unacceptable” by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed.

The minister was speaking to AgriLand at the Department of Agriculture’s Open Policy Debate on Ireland’s Agri-Food Strategy to 2030, held in the Aviva Stadium today, Wednesday, October 16.

Approximately 400 attendees were present, including leading representatives of farm organisations, agri-food businesses, state agencies and related firms among others.

Asked if a new date has been set for the taskforce to convene, Minister Creed said: “No; we’ve had a very significant setback and we need to reflect now on how to proceed.”

The minister added, however, that the entity is part of the brokered outcome.

“It is regrettable – in any normal society – that unacceptable behaviour that we witnessed has prevented the taskforce from going about its work; and we need to reflect now on how best to proceed.”

When asked about injunctions still in place on some protesters, the minister said:

“On the injunctions, it’s very clear in terms of the agreement we brokered, MII do not have reach – and these were the people who were prevented from coming into the taskforce – MII do not have reach over secondary injunctions, or injunctions that were sought and granted against people who were involved in secondary picketing – not picketing of meat plants.

MII responds as representatives of the meat industry and, while I would like to see injunctions lifted, it is unfair to target MII in the manner in which they were intimidated and attacked as they sought to enter the department.

“That is not acceptable behaviour,” the minister concluded.