Fuming farmers pile ‘redundant wellies’ at gates of Leinster House

Frustrated farmers from across the provinces have piled their wellies outside at the gates of Leinster House as they claim such footwear is “no longer needed” in rural Ireland.

More than 2,000 farmers are currently blocking Kildare Street – just yards away from Agriculture House – in the heart of the city centre as part of a wide-scale protest over a number of deeply rooted rural concerns.

Many rural and agricultural politicians have also taken to the street in support of the rally organised by the Beef Plan Movement.

The movement’s co-founder, Hugh Doyle, addressed the crowd raising serious farmer-led concerns over the Government’s position on the draft EU-Mercosur trade deal – which will see 99,000t of beef being imported in to the EU market from Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay.

The group highlighted how primary producers are operating “unviable and unsustainable” farm business models, pointing out that in 2018, average cattle rearing incomes were €8,300.

Politicians – including independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice; Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald – also took the podium to voice their shared concerns over the future of the family-farm model in Ireland.

Fianna Fáil’s Jackie Cahill did not receive a warm welcome from protesters when he stood to speak; meanwhile, the chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Fine Gael’s Pat Deering, could be seen looking out at the crowd from inside the Dáil gates.

The rally kicked off today, Wednesday, July 10, at 12:00pm, with busloads of supporters travelling from across the country to air their grievances.

Stay tuned to AgriLand for more updates on the protest throughout the day…