Garda presence and ‘locked doors’ at Beef Plan standoff

A number of Gardaí were on the scene in Holycross, Co. Tipperary where a standoff took place between members of the Beef Plan Movement on opposing sides of the ongoing dispute.

It is understood that around 20 people gathered inside the Old Abbey Inn in the village with the intent of holding an AGM and election.

However, AgriLand understands that another group of members gathered outside and tried – and failed – to gain entry, with the doors apparently locked or blocked.

It appears that the Tipperary Beef Plan county chairperson Catherine Guest was one of the individuals who was prevented from entering.

Beef Plan’s Dermot O’Brien was also prevented from entering.

There are currently deep divisions in the organisation over its governance, with significant disagreement over whether or not elections should go ahead, or be deferred until after an extraordinary general meeting (EGM).

Speaking to AgriLand, O’Brien said that those who were outside the meeting – who advocate for deferment of elections – sough to gain entry for the purpose of telling those in the meeting that it was not an official AGM or election, and any results would be “null and void”.

It was claimed that Beef Plan co-founders Eamon Corley and Hugh Doyle were present there, while one Beef Plan National Committee member was part of the group trying to get in.

O’Brien also claimed that some people in the meeting were not Beef Plan members.

In a recent statement to AgriLand, members of the National Committee (said to have been “stood down” last weekend) said that: “All further county elections have been deferred until after the organisation’s EGM, which takes place on Janaury 26 at Killeshin Hotel in Portlaoise at 2:00pm.

“According to the Rules of Governance, the National Committee of Beef Plan Movement has responsibility for national elections,” the statement added.

This incident follows on from an AGM and election in Co. Galway on Wednesday, January 8, after with the above statement was issued.