The much-anticipated Beef Market Taskforce is set to host its first meeting today, Tuesday, December 3, seven weeks and a day since it was due to originally meet.

The taskforce was originally due to meet on Monday, October 14. However, a protest took place outside the headquarters of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, where the meeting was due to take place.

During the protest, the group prevented Cormac Healy, senior director of Meat Industry Ireland (MII), from entering the building due to frustration that injunctions arising from the beef protests had not been lifted.

Farm lobby groups – that were also due to attend – agreed they would not sit on the taskforce until all injunctions had been lifted.

Following the protest at Agriculture House, that meeting was postponed until it was announced last Thursday that C & D Foods would apply to have the injunctions struck out.

The move to lift injunctions took place just over 24 hours after the tractor protest took place in Dublin’s city centre.

Today’s meeting will be the first of a series of Beef Market Taskforce meetings.

C & D Foods statement

In announcing the plan to strike out the injunctions, the statement from C&D Foods said: “Over the past few weeks we have met with and received assurances from the Minister for Justice and Minister for Agriculture in relation to the intimidation and threats made against management.

“We understand and respect the right to picket and peacefully protest but there is no place for blockades, threats and intimidation of staff and suppliers.

“The Minister for Justice has assured us that the relevant authorities will act to protect our employees, our business and uphold the rule of law.

“Following these consultations and assurances we have decided to apply to strike out these injunctions,” the company’s statement concluded.