Overnight ICSA protest for price rise continues in Athleague

The Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA) protest outside Kepak Athleague, Co. Roscommon, continued overnight last night and will remain in place until lamb prices improve, according to the organisation.

Speaking to AgriLand this morning, Monday, July 1, ICSA sheep chairman Sean McNamara outlined that his organisation will continue to block lamb access to the plant until prices improve to where they had been.

“There’s a big crowd with us today; we’re blocking all access for lambs coming in to Kepak.

“There’s a very poor price being paid for lambs at the moment; lambs are back, at this particular plant, €1.20/kg from last year, which is the equivalent of a €22 difference between now and this time last year,” the chairman said.

We intend to stay here until they bring back up the price to where we need it, which should be around €5.20/kg, which is what we intend to get out of them.

Asked as to whether the farmers’ group has had contact with the plant’s management yet, McNamara said: “Not as of yet; we’ve had no contact from them.

“We’re here since yesterday afternoon and we’ve had no contact yet. We’re hoping we will get talks with them after a while. At the moment there’s about 45 here.”

Noting that people have been “coming and going all day and all night”, the chairman said that, over the course of the last day, more than 100 people had come out to take part in the demonstration.

We started at 2:00pm yesterday; three or four of us stayed overnight – we slept here and manned the gate.

“The rest came back to us this morning at 6:00am. We’ll keep pressure on them anyway,” McNamara concluded.