An agreement has been reached between almost 300 beef farmer protesters and representatives of Liffey Meats at its Ballyjamesduff processing plant.

The deal – reached tonight, Thursday, September 5 – includes a commitment that all legal proceedings taken by the meat processor will be “struck out“.

Meanwhile, the protesters have agreed to allow access for some containers at site, however, they will continue to maintain a “peaceful presence” at the Co. Cavan plant.

In the agreement, seen by AgriLand, the below seven points are outlined and signed off on by Liffey Meats:
  • No cattle will be brought in for the rest of the week;
  • Only empty refrigerated containers will be brought in for the rest of the week;
  • All loaded refrigerator containers will be allowed out for the rest of the week;
  • All existing High Court proceedings including the injunction proceedings will be struck out this week with no order for costs;
  • Meaningful talks will commence as soon as possible and no threats of injunction proceedings will be made while these talks are in progress;
  • All arrangements to be reviewed on Saturday;
  • No discrimination against any farmer taking part on the picket who wishes to sell stock to the factory in the future.

Independent TD for Roscommon-Galway Michael Fitzmaurice addressed the large crowd of protesters gathered at the plant this evening.

“I told them straight that you’re not going to solve anything if you don’t go to the table and get it sorted,” Fitzmaurice told AgriLand, following the announcement of the deal.

Return to talks

The TD also reiterated his call to the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, asking that the beef talks be reconvened tomorrow afternoon, Friday, September 6, instead of next Monday.

He says that currently there appears “to be a real will” to resolve it across all sides.

The Minister for Agriculture should, instead of waiting until Monday, strike whilst the iron is hot and convene these talks.

“It is imperative we respond swiftly to this mood for resolution,” he said.

This morning, Minister Creed confirmed that a second round of talks on beef sector reforms is set to begin on Monday, September 9.

The talks follow on from a wave of protests that began early last week, which were initially sparked by farmer disappointment and frustrations over the outcome of the first set of beef talks last month.