ICSA holds protest at Kepak Athleague

The Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA) has begun a protest outside Kepak Athleague, Co. Roscommon.

The protest, begun today, Sunday, June 30, could extend through to tomorrow, according to the farmers’ organisation.

According to an ICSA spokesperson, the demonstration is being held in opposition to price cuts on lamb and the slaughtering of lambs brought from Northern Ireland to plants in the Republic of Ireland.

The ICSA, led by the organisation’s sheep chairman Sean McNamara, have blocked the Kepak entrance, a move expected to continue through to tomorrow.

This follows on from a similar protest last month; on Tuesday, May 20, the farm group held a demonstration outside Irish Country Meats (ICM) in Camolin, Co. Wexford.

This led to meetings between the ICSA and factory representatives.

At the time, following the meeting, McNamara said: “We had a very robust discussion with the management team here at ICM Camolin.

“Last week, we were here to protest, and these officials witnessed first-hand the anger amongst sheep farmers.

“We came here today to reinforce the message that sheep farmers cannot bear these savage price cuts and must be paid an adequate price for their produce – end of story.”

According to final estimates for the outputs, inputs and incomes in agriculture for 2018, recently released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), the value of sheep decreased from €263 million in 2017 to €253 million last year.