The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, has invited the Beef Plan Movement to enter into a process of dialogue and to temporarily suspend its protests.

A spokesperson for Minister Creed has said: “The minister deeply regrets that efforts by his office to reach out to the Beef Plan Movement to enter a process of dialogue and to temporarily suspend its protests has been rejected.”

It is understood the invitation was offered yesterday, Wednesday, August 7, and was rejected last night.

According to a spokesperson for Minister Creed, the Beef Plan was invited to a roundtable discussion regarding the current market difficulties.

The discussion would involve all stakeholders including Minister Creed, farm organisations, representatives of the beef processing sector, Meat Industry Ireland (MII), the Department of Agriculture and its agencies.

The minister has called on the group to reflect on its position and to take up the invitation that has been offered to the Beef Plan Movement.

The minister’s invitation comes following reports that over 150 workers employed in a meat plant in south Co. Kilkenny have been purportedly laid off temporarily amid the continuing Beef Plan protests.

Concluding, Minister Creed has again called on the Beef Plan to enter talks in light of the difficult income situation facing farmers with livestock for slaughter and on animal welfare grounds.