The issue of injunctions could have been dealt with at the meeting in Agriculture House had members of the taskforce been allowed in.

Rather than preventing them from entering the building, the protesters should have allowed them to be confronted on that issue under the structure of the taskforce.

The issue could, perhaps, have been dealt with as a preliminary to the meeting.

This is according to Minister of State, Andrew Doyle, who was speaking during Dáil proceedings earlier this week.

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The minister was responding to a number of questions put to him by deputy Michael Fitzmaurice (Independent) who asked where the price index – promised a month ago – now stood.

Fitzmaurice also pointed out that, while everyone was aware that “threatening behaviour serves no purpose”, the judgments hanging over people’s heads was an issue and “we need a goodwill gesture such as a phone call by the parent company” to deal with the matter effectively.

To be addressed

Meanwhile, the minister admitted “there are a number of measures that need to addressed”.

Not all of them will not necessary be for consideration by the full taskforce.

He continued: “It may be possible for some of them to be addressed by working groups.

“However, I am only speculating. There may be a range of meetings that will be led by working groups comprising members of the taskforce rather than the full taskforce.

“There is an agreement in place and actions and measures that need to be taken and addressed.”

Let the work begin

The minister then appealed “to everybody” – including those who feel aggrieved at the way they were treated on Monday last in not being allowed to attend the meeting and those who prevented them from doing so – to let this taskforce set about its work.

There have been two meetings already; one in Backweston and the other in Agriculture House.

He concluded: “Let the taskforce get up and running.

“It is the interests of those of us who are committed to the beef sector to seek progress on all fronts.”