Speaking in the Agriculture & Rural Development committee in the European Parliament recently, Ireland Midlands and West MEP Luke Ming Flanagan stated that ‘interfering crooks and cartels are destroying the beef industry’.

Addressing the ongoing nomad cattle issue, which is hampering the cross border movement of livestock at the present time, he said: “Ireland joined the EU so that we could sell our products across the Union. However, we have a problem selling our products across an invisible line into Northern Ireland and our beef products into Great Britain.

“I understand that representatives of the co-operative movement form Ireland have been out to DG Competition about this Issue and they were told to go and get proof. This has being going on for two decades and it has not been solved.

“What I want to know is what the Commission is going to do to solve this ever ongoing problem whereby we are destroyed by cartels and crooks that interfere in our beef industry.”

Flanagan asked: “What exactly is going to be done by the European Union because I can’t see any benefit of unless this committee can do something about it. We have a product in a free and open market that we are not allowed sell across invisible lines. We need something done.”